Disconnected Sales Solutions
Let’s pretend you need to build a new house, so you start reaching out to your network to find experts that can help you. You meet someone that can build and design amazing kitchens; you hire them on the spot. You continue this process and hire experts for each area of the house and feel very excited about your selections. Later that year, you are standing in your house and your family starts to complain. Now that it has all come together, your house, built by a team of experts, doesn’t work; it doesn’t even make sense! That is because each area was built independently, using different ideas, methods and products.
Now we know you – as a smart, capable person probably would have acted as, or hired a general contractor, but we said: “let’s pretend.” So, in this scenario, you just assumed you hired experts, therefore, everything was going to be great!
WHAT DOES A HOUSE HAVE TO DO WITH SALES?
Actually, nothing, but it was an analogy for a very real scenario many sales organizations experience. Several years ago, we executed a deep dive analysis into the effectiveness of tools and training for salespeople. What we found is an accepted industry practice that makes no sense at all when you step back and look at it. For example, we recently spoke with a VP Sales who was trying to make the following work. She was working with:
- A provider for tactical selling skills
- A second provider for questioning skills
- A third provider for negotiation skills
Each of the providers delivered their own methodologies, with a separate process and language, as well as tools and forms. These disconnected solutions, while independently may be effective to some extent, are still point solutions for a specific pain within the sales process. When you look at your sales organization today, does this sound familiar?
BUT, IF EACH POINT SOLUTION IS EFFECTIVE, CAN’T WE MAKE IT WORK?
In theory, you could make it work, but first consider these very real implications:
- In the above example, sales reps had to attend three different classes spread out over a year. T&E was quite high for three separate events. Are you prepared for the time and expense of taking your team out of the field for a training course aligned to each point solution?
- Like our house analogy, can you map each solution to the sales process and to each other? Do you cover each step in the sales process? Do the solutions work together in a way that makes sense? Do the adjustments that need to be made by the “general contractor” to align each step to your process take a lot of time, resources, or change the effectiveness?
- It is reported that 65% of a sales rep’s time is spent on non-sales activity; can you integrate these solutions into your CRM technology or are you giving new and disparate tools to your sales teams further hampering their productivity?
- Can your coaches and sales leaders coach and drive adoption? For the VP Sales that we spoke to, the answer was, “no.” Her team reported that it was just too much. They weren’t sure what to do, or when to do it. This resulted in zero pull though, low adoption and no measurable ROI for all the investments made.
- Finally, when considering new salespersons (due to team growth or turnover), what will the onboarding process look like? What will the impact be to your rep’s time to value? Will onboarding difficultly increase? Our experience shows that disconnected solutions make the process arduous, time consuming and more expensive.
A SOLUTION MAPPED TO THE WAY DEALS ACTUALLY HAPPEN
If you look at the evolution of sales consultants and trainers, the development of all these point solutions makes sense. Different firms saw their niche handling specific skills related to different places in the sales process; qualify, gain access, execute discovery, prove value, negotiate and close.
Unfortunately, this is not the way deals happen. Deals happen holistically and all the skills required must be used in concert with one another.
That is why we have invested the last four years building out Precision Guided Selling, a solution that is integrated end-to-end across the sales process:
This integrated process allows your sales team to:
- Meet the buyer where they are in the buy/sell process
- Mitigate the associated risks and implications of point solutions outlined above
- And most importantly, achieve the desire outcomes you had when you decided to invest in a solution; reduce the cost of sale, improve win rates and increase margins
Are you interested in learning more about Precision Guided Selling and our seamless integration with Salesforce.com? Give us a call. We will provide a sales and negotiation effectiveness diagnostic for your organization at our own expense, if you qualify.