Speaking to a plethora of sales leaders and sales strategists over the past few weeks, I have heard one theme recurring unerringly – “we want our reps to win – again and again. We simply don’t know what we need to do to guide them to win consistently“.
A little bit of probing quickly degenerates the conversation into CRM systems, and CRM adoption, and poor data quality and why sales reps don’t like filling data in their CRM and so how sales leaders have no way of figuring how to allocate resources and energy and … (breathless by now).
I think it is time. To catch our breath. And turn this problem on its head.
It is not about what the leader can do for the rep. It is about what the rep wants, and how he can get it.
Speaking to the reps and deal managers – the real soldiers in the trenches – the answer is quite apparent.
Reps have a deep-seated hunger to win. They hate not winning every time. They hate losing. They hate to be seen to be losing.
They also have a deep-seated faith in their ability to navigate and close the most complex of deals. They do not enjoy it when this ability is questioned or impeded.
And they hate being surprised or blind-sided. Especially by their competitors. They want to be in control. And be seen to be in control.
What they need is two-fold:
One – to be made of their blind spots. Hurdles along the way that they may encounter. And ways in which they may be able to sidestep or circumvent.
“Will competitor X discount. Should I follow suit. Should I pre-empt with an aggressive offer. Or should I play the superior-solution card and kill the pricing conversation”
Second – they want a sense of the choices they have at any stage in the deal cycle, and the potential impact of the paths they may choose to take.
“Will offering a POC convince the prospect of our solution? Or will it delay the sales cycle by another quarter”
This is Guided Selling at its impactful best.
Letting the rep receive information that lets him strategize. Giving him insights that let him choose the right path at each stage of his deal cycle. And articulate the impact of the choices he will make, in getting his deal across the finishing line in the shortest possible time.
Every rep. Every deal. Every time.