After a house party, I was complaining about needing to clean the kitchen floor. My wife who understands keeping germs out of our home informed me of a University of Arizona Study on dirty shoes. At first, I did not believe, but having an open mind and appreciating another person’s point of view substantiated by facts, I performed the research, and sure enough, many sources documented the filth on the bottom of people’s shoes.
This topic got me to ponder about why with something so apparent with documented data do so many people ignore it and bring that filth into their house. Using a public restroom, riding the subway, and then just walking into your home.
This metaphor led me to think about my business where I see so many companies who participate in different industries ignore the obvious as it relates to their sales function. Just like the University of Arizona Shoe study, there are many similar sales studies with statistics of wrong sales strategies across many different industries. Why with so much proven data, are there so many business leaders that ignore the data and submit to outdated sales strategies that do not work?
Unfortunately, many senior business leaders have investments in old methods and approaches and are reluctant to embrace new strategies that are much more productive.
Here are a few examples of how existing businesses are reluctant to embrace new approaches. One client had discontent in growth and had a proposal process that they thought was their strength. They went all in and invested in doing more of it. They shifted their entire sales organization around building a robust response process. They had built systems and processes that did nothing more than respond to a client’s questions. Failing to establish mutual value and challenging client’s assumptions, they placed themselves in a price only position. If they had looked at the recent trends and understood that clients were much further down the buying process, they would have realized there are many more opportunities to differentiate than a mere response to the RFP.
Another client had a fancy name for their sales process that was nothing more than extensive presentation templates designed to develop a quote for a commoditized service. All their sales expense was centered around the development of a custom proposal, the antithesis of high-performing companies. They wondered why their organic growth rates were so pathetic. Had they embraced the current data and the marketplace shift from just buying solutions to expecting unique perspectives on a client’s business their value and revue growth would have been more robust.
Another firm where a misinformed senior business leader stated their best salespeople were people that had a fear of failure, were driven, and have a thirst for knowledge. They filled their ranks with young salespeople that worked many hours, and they wondered why their growth was meager. They misunderstood their client persona and were not aligned with the right clients and failed to realize that clients buy to solve their problems and make a meaningful business impact.
One of the pervasive sales hiring processes to look at hiring senior people with a Rolodex, thinking that the Rolodex will bring in new business. Unfortunately for many reasons statistically that will not produce the desired results. Salespeople with a Rolodex tend to not aggressively pursue past connections as there is a fear they will burn past relationships when positioning the new firm. The Rolodex hire will only work if the company who hires them can distinguish their own value compared to the last company the Rolodex hire worked in the past. Most onboarding process do not address this issue.
So even with so many changes in the evolution of B2B sales, we still see so many organizations keep on hiring and firing sales people not understanding the real cost of sales and the missed opportunity for sustainable revenue growth. The following are a few questions you should ask yourself if you want to begin the journey to improve sales performance:
For businesses to adopt new approaches and take advantage of the changes in B2B Sales, new methods need to be sought out. The tired old thinking of the past is not sufficient to deliver the required results.
For businesses to accomplish successful B2B Sales in today’s environment, companies need to concentrate on three distinctive areas. These three areas include connecting your overall business strategy with the correct targeted customers, establish client relationship plans that are meaningful and sustainable, and drive a consistent discipline that solves client’s problems and creates a reward for your company.
At our firm, we specialize in a philosophy called #SalesDisernment. When embraced and executed correctly it provides a distinct competitive advantage for any company. #SalesDisernment transforms companies and offers opportunities for sustainable growth.
FHS Associates has a proven methodology called S-R-Squared which assist organizations to take advantage of #SalesDiscernment and improve its overall impact. For more information on how to take advantage of S-R-Squared go to www.fhs.associates and schedule a discussion.
If you are having issues and challenges with your revenue engine, we would love to consider being with you to accelerate business improvements in your sales function. Contact us at FHS Associates to begin your business improvement!