This article will help you avoid becoming obsolete by sharing the warning signs. You cannot afford to get outpaced. A quick test for you is to flip to page 260 of our workbook and answer the questions to evaluate whether your sales strategy is a problem. If there is a shortcoming, the rest of the article will help you identify root cause.
Your World – You are time starved. You have too much to focus on so you end up doing less. Technology has enabled connection and increased the noise level. Every trend and latest must have is crowding your inbox. You feel like you are driving less positive change because everything is coming at you. ABM, Social selling, big data, mobile, content marketing, personas, gamification, buyer focused selling, software, software, software. It is hard to sustain any progress. So you end up doing nothing. You react to the market vs. outpace it. The result of this is you fall behind.
During the month of March, we asked 144 Sales VPs three questions. We wanted to know what they were doing to avoid becoming obsolete in today’s fast paced market.
What activities are you going to eliminate in Q2 and why?
What activities are you going to continue in Q2 and why?
What activities are you going to accelerate in Q2 and why?
#1 New Technology
Why—The roll out of technology before process continues to paralyze sales forces. The new marketing automation platform is not configured properly with the CRM. Marketing and sales are having internal battles on who is less responsible for the lack of leads and blaming a piece of software.
#2 Forecast Calls
Why—Top down driven initiative centered on reporting the news. Hours of wasted energy goes into telling the EVP of Sales things they should know from a CRM system. But, because the CRM is not properly configured, a manual workaround happens. This continues to be a simple process that humans keep making complex and it drives sales leaders crazy.
#1 Big Deal Reviews
Why—Making the quarter typically comes down to 1-3 big deals. Nail these and many sins are relieved. Sales leaders know they can’t be everywhere they want to be. They have adjusted by being a crucial part of the pre and post call work for the major interactions in in the big deals. These major interactions are the pivotal meetings over the life of a sales campaign. A second way is to utilize a Big Deal Review Strategy.
#2 Social Selling Initiatives
Why—The world has gone social. Sales VPs realize they need to continue this but are wrestling with how best to execute it. An updated LinkedIn profile is not social.
#1 Buying Process Maps
Why—A generic buying process is no longer sufficient. A buying process map allows you to understand an individual’s buying process. It includes the key buyer actions they take in a single phase of the buying process. It also has the smaller micro questions they ask themselves inside each individual phase. The micro questions are critical. A buyer does not verbalize all of their questions to a seller. To be successful in today’s market, a seller must know these. The use of a BPM vets this out.
#2 Sales Enablement
Why—Sales VPs realize their teams are taking new products to the market without the proper training and tools. A robust sales enablement capability is required. These new products are central to accelerating revenue growth yet the team is not properly enabled.
#3 Account Based Marketing
Why—Most sales leaders feel they have 20% of the available spend of their top 20% accounts. In an effort to generate new leads inside the install base, sales leaders are putting more demands on their Marketing teams to implement real ABM. They expect targeted campaigns into their most valuable accounts.
Download the Obsolete Sale Leader Assessment tool. Avoid becoming obsolete.
The Assessment will give you a rating on one of four levels starting at Highly Relevant and ending with Obsolete. The complete report will help you identify what areas to begin improving.
Start on the Edges
Start by picking one thing to eliminate. Then pick one thing to accelerate.
As humans, we are good at continuing existing habits. Becoming obsolete is a choice. Your results in the self-assessment will give you some ideas on where to focus. What is it you should be doing that you are not? You will see some new habits you need to integrate. Drop a comment below if you want to share your ideas.
Would you like to meet 1:1 and develop a plan of action to make the number this year? Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe haven for learning and after just a few days you will leave with confidence and clarity on what they need to do to grow revenue and how to do it.