Today, I want to continue to talk about how companies can sell their way through the current malaise. As I’ve said before, I believe that the way companies are going to survive and thrive in these interesting times is to sell their way through all the current headwinds being caused by the macro events.
We as sales leaders and leaders of companies need to be mindful of what we can do to create an ecosystem that allows our sellers to be successful. So, I want to talk about that a little bit today. We get an awful lot of our leads through inbound traffic. We put a lot of effort into our marketing. What we’re seeing right now is there’s a particular interest in skills-based training, like “how do I how do I help my team negotiate better, how do they prospect better, or how do we do a better job of strategic account management?” So, what that tells me is there’s some acute pain that a sales leader is trying to solve.
Oftentimes these sales leaders that are searching for this have really misdiagnosed their problem. What we find out regularly is that the basics aren’t in place. Time and time again, we understand that if the basics were in place, sellers would be much more successful and this acute problem that a sales leader is feeling would go away. So, I want to challenge us to think about what’s really going on. How do we let sellers sell and how do we help the seller sell? It may not be just through the skills training.
So, what I want to talk about today are the basics, because I think the basics matter now more than ever. We see time and time again that companies have different personnel, sales teams have different makeups, or they’ve gone through a pandemic when they couldn’t sell the way they used to. So, now’s the time for us to recalibrate our sales organization.
- For us, that starts with a methodology I’ve mentioned before. Our methodology is called IMPACT. It’s a six-step system and we really work hard to ensure that salespeople know how to move a deal through the pipeline. That’s it, right? That’s what a methodology does.
- After you ensure that you have a clear methodology, you practice that. So as sales leaders, we need to ensure that those are in place and we create opportunities for our salespeople to practice. We might create some scenarios, we might do some role play, or we might share best practices, but we practice what we preach in terms of methodology.
- The third thing a methodology does is it allows us to coach. It creates a common vernacular. It allows a sales leader to understand how successful people are being and it helps you understand what the deal movement looks like. So having a good methodology in place allows you to coach and as a sales leader, that’s what’s critical right now. We ought to be actively coaching our sellers day in and day out.
- The fourth key is funnel management. A good methodology allows you to establish KPIs for each part of the funnel or each part of the methodology. So, you should know, is the top of your funnel healthy? Are you getting some friction mid-funnel that you may not understand, and are deals stalling? Or at the end of the funnel, are you not closing deals you thought you should close? So, having a good methodology allows you to establish KPIs, which allows you to coach the methodology and the KPIs. It also allows you to create practices for the salespeople and it creates a much more rigorous sales process.
- The last thing right now in terms of basics, and this may be a little out of the ordinary, is I think it’s a critical time to really take stock of your human capital. Again, we’ve had different make-ups of sales teams or sellers are behaving differently and being forced to sell differently than they had in the past. Help your team win by truly understanding their talents, coaching needs, and skills.
So, now is a critical time to understand what your team makeup is like and is your team balanced? We have a great tool, the Brooks Talent Index, which helps with this. But we are seeing a real emphasis on ensuring that team make-up is good, especially in these interesting employment times. It’s still a tight labor market. We want to make sure that our sellers are successful. We’ve got a lot of competing demands and possibly other options for them. So, ensuring that they’re being well coached and that they have the tools for success will set you up for the ability to sell your way through these current challenging times.
Would love to discuss or debate it with you. Happy to share more information. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.