Our company works with a lot of organizations ranging from the world’s largest to start-ups. We also coach a lot of individuals. While each engagement is very different, at there core there’s one common theme, they are trying to discover the secret to success.
Clients may be looking at how to raise sales performance, how/what products to bring to market, how to grow/expand/improve, how to beat the competition, how to establish market leadership.
While many consultants tend to wrap a lot of fancy studies, analysis and stuff around the projects, perhaps to justify outrageous fees. The secret to sales success, actually any kind of success, is really pretty easy.
It can be encapsulated in three words: Do What Works!
Conceptually, it’s so simple, but in execution, it seems so difficult.
We know we have to prospect, to find new customers and new opportunities. Prospecting has always worked, but why do we continue to avoid it, spending lots of time and money to discover new ways to find customers?
We know qualification is critical. Yet how many pipelines are filled with deals that are simply wishful thinking or the wrong deals?
We know the customer doesn’t need us to educate them about our products. We know they want us to help them with their business and their goals. But instead, we continue to engage with pitches about our companies and our products.
We know preparation, planning, research works. But how often do we see someone sitting down and writing down a sales call plan? A deal strategy? An account/territory plan?
We know the sales process is based on our past experience of doing what works, what causes us to close deals. But so many don’t have or use the sales process.
We know training doesn’t have an impact unless it’s integrated into the fabric of our businesses and strategies, unless managers continue to reinforce it in their coaching. But how effectively do we do this?
We know we win by creating superior and differentiated value. We know people buy value. So why do we constantly make it about price?
We know the best way to drive top performance is through coaching our people. But coaching just doesn’t get done.
I could go on and on, but you understand the point. Success is really pretty simple, but we tend to muck it up by making things too complex, by not paying attention to the details, by coming up with complex strategies rather than simplifying. Sometimes these answers are too simple, so we look for something more complex to describe tough issues. But the answer is always the same, do what works.
Sometimes what works is tough, demanding, and requires disciplined execution, so we try to take short cuts–but they don’t work. But we keep trying to find short cuts or magic solutions to avoid doing what works.
Success comes down to three words: Do What Works!
Success means doing what works all the time, everyday, regardless of how tough it might be.
There’s a corollary to this, that we consultants also leverage a huge amount, again charging exorbitant fees.
It’s a little longer and more complex, but equally intuitive: Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work!
We all know the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. Yet we continue to persist, spending more time, more resource, more money, when the answer is simple: Stop it!
There are a lot of really tough challenges we help our clients with. Sometimes figuring out what works requires an outside view, sometimes we are too close to the situation to see the obvious. So I don’t want to discourage you from calling us up. But try doing these two things. Commit fully to it, keep it simple, execute.
You’ll be amazed with what you can accomplish.