“I’ve been waiting all my life to say this, Alex. Let’s make it a True Daily Double.” I got off my couch and applauded. Caution be damned, Pete came to win. He nailed it and cruised to victory. I’ll be tuning in for his title defense.
In your Sales Organization, you probably don’t see this level of risk taking. Hopefully, you have multiple decision makers weighing in. You’ve probably never wagered everything the organization has. The decision making process probably lasts longer than the 5 seconds Alex will allow. But how crazy is it, really? Maybe Pete had put himself into a position to be bold without being brash. It’s likely he prepared diligently, so when opportunity knocked he was ready to jump. Is your team as ready as Pete? Send out the Double Jeopardy Sales Survey to your team to find out. There are 3 Risk Mitigators Pete focused on:
- Category Knowledge: It could be 18th Century British Novelists or Sales Process Roll Outs. No matter the category or initiative, do your research in advance. Follow trends and how the problem has been solved by others. What do we know about the customer? Is your team in agreement as to who your Ideal Customer is?
- Deductive Reasoning: Trust your judgment and quickly eliminate poor options. Jane Austen was born in 1775 but wrote her novels in the 19th century. Your initiative will take reinforcement across each market and among the executives. Recent initiatives have not stuck and change has not been realized. Any process considered must first address implementation.
- Opportunity Creation: Identify multiple opportunities and unearth them – fast. Many contestants warm up on the easy questions. The Daily Double is never behind the $200 tile. Pete went right for the $800 tile. He knew if he lost, he’d get to pick again. He would go right after the second Daily Double and create another opportunity. Not so risky when you can dust yourself off and get right back in the ring.
Fine. Mitigating risks becomes easier. We can understand the problem inside and out. But will grand ideas ever be executed on? How much of the energy will be captured in the field? It’s crucial to ensure uptake at every level. The Double Jeopardy Sales Survey will help reinforcement in 3 ways:
- High Response Rate: You need answers. But your sales team is distracted. What’s the point if only 10% of the team responds? Turn a boring survey into a challenge. The best responses to the survey will earn the most points. No one in the organization likes to take surveys. Everyone in the organization loves to win.
- Initiative Buy in: This is a survey that won’t be forgotten. Two months from now you will roll out the new initiative. The reps will remember that they ‘played’ a part in it. Their answers directed the effort. They were rewarded with 500 points which were redeemed for that new putter. When it comes time to execute on the initiative, your team is behind it.
- Problem Definition: The answers that you receive will help you understand the need. As stated above, they will help mitigate the risk associated with such a lift. The field knowledge you obtain about your customers and market will focus you. It will allow you to make bold decisions.
Sales Operations leaders must become more like Pete. Ops is generally a cost center. It creates synergies in technology, improves forecast accuracy and properly allocates resources. All of tremendous value. None directly driving revenue. Unearth opportunities to seize competitive advantage. In order to stay relevant, Sales Operations has to drive top line results. Pete intended to hit the Daily Double and risk it all. He planned for it. And he won. It’s really not that crazy.