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Doing More Of What Doesn’t Work!

by David Brock on October 18th, 2018

Imagine sitting in some sort of sales kickoff meeting or conference, and the keynote speaker enthusiastically jumps on the stage and shouts, “You need to do more of what doesn’t work!”  Your initial reaction might be, “WTF!?!??”

But the speaker continues, pacing back and forth, showing great slides, extorting you to do more of what doesn’t work.   You’d think the speaker is insane, he’s not, after all he’s gotten your money (but that’s another post).  The smart people in the audience would walk out, thinking, this is a waste of time!

Yet, I see organization after organization committed to doing more of what doesn’t, whether inspired by some “guru,” or through the simple inattention of management.

The world has changed!  Buyers have changed!  What it takes to be a high performing sales person or sales organization has changed!

Yet too many organizations aren’t changing, they are only doing more of what they have always done, and it isn’t working–or it isn’t sustainable.

“Make more calls!  (even if they are outside our ICP)”

“Send more irrelevant emails, fighting for space in the recipients’ spam filters!”

“Develop one more irrelevant script pitching your product, without first understanding who the customer is!”

“Send more LinkedIn invitations, pitching the person without ever looking at their profile (You know the one’s you get every day, ‘I’ve looked at your profile….’)”

“Get more pipeline (even as the quality and integrity of the pipeline plummets)!”

“Give the sales people more tools to layer on top of the one’s they already aren’t using!”

“Give the sales people more training, without the tools, support, coaching to reinforce it, knowing that within 3 months, 87% of the training will be forgotten!”

“Don’t take the time to coach people, just tell them to do more!”

No sane person would consciously commit to continue doing what doesn’t work, yet somehow, too many organizations are doing just this.

In a world where there is massive change and disruption in everything that buyers are doing, doing more doesn’t work.

We have to rethink everything we do—Do we have the right talent?  Do we have the right go to market strategy?  Do we have the right structure/organization?  Do we know who the right customers are and do we know how to engage them effectively?  Do we have the programs, systems, tools that enable our people to compete, given today’s challenges?  Do we have the right metrics/incentives?  Do we know what our customers value (now) and how to create that value with them?

Doing more is seductive, it’s like the sugar high you get immediately after drinking a soft drink or eating a candy bar.  It works, but only for a short time.  It isn’t sustainable, but to try to sustain it, we do………..drum roll………….even more!

All of this comes at huge cost!  Financial, people, overload/overwhelm/burnout, brand equity, customer satisfaction, missed goals, ….  At some point, doing more breaks down.  Often it is very too late, we have lost so much ground with our customers and when compared to alternatives, that it may not be possible to recover.

Doing more of what doesn’t work, doesn’t work!

We have to stop giving lip service to the concept that “everything has changed.”  We have to start looking what’s changed, what we need to change, and how we transform what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.  Transformation is not optional.

  1. Chuck Sena permalink

    Having gone through several CRM software implementations I have learned the hard way that the “efficiency” of our technology often masks problems.

    My advice to colleagues looking at CRM and other automation projects is automating bad processes allows you to do bad things faster.

    It comes down to focusing the right things to do, and THEN focusing on how to do those more efficiently and effectively.

    It is comforting to know that I am not alone, screaming into a void.

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