Today’s post is by Rosemary DiDio Brehm, our partner from Florida. Thanks Rosemary!
We are all working at a frenetic pace and when we aren’t reaching sales goals, we panic and work from a place of fear, rather than from a place of power. Instead of focusing on the “target” we tend to toss darts all over the board hoping we land anything, anywhere. The result is a lot of tossing and not a lot of points. In reality we are staying in the same place (or losing ground) and not shifting our business forward. In either case, we are expending a lot of energy for little results. This is especially true in going after bigger deals because of the complexities of the sale and the nuances of the buying decision.
Three Key Internal Roadblocks – For the past several years, I have been working with companies to accelerate their internal sales skills and sales processes so they can target, shift, and grow their priorities, their people, and their profits. Interestingly, these companies (and their associates) share three similar patterns of performance:
- A constant “state of overwhelm”
- Mis-using Intuition, Instinct and Assumptions
- A Lack of Disciplined Focus
Maybe you face the same issues. If so, the good news is that you can shift forward and turn each of these around by focusing internally to develop strategies and processes to keep you on track and moving forward.
A constant “state of overwhelm” – Being overwhelmed can result from poor planning and a lack of priorities and strategy. It can also result from the process being too complex which results in our “getting stuck”. Just because the sale is complex, doesn’t mean your strategy has to be.
The Fix – Go Back to Go Forward and Make Changes – “Total Company Overwhelm”, requires a “time-out”. Hire a neutral guide to get you “unstuck”. Analyze what’s working and what’s not. Look at your process from your team’s perspective and from your client’s perspective. See where the “quicksand” is. Reconfigure your priorities, your team, your strategies. Embrace the changes.
Mis-using Intuition, Instinct and Assumptions – Intuition, instinct, and assumptions are vital to moving that big deal forward. Mis-using those tools may actually hurt you, especially if you are working a number of deals at the same time. These tools are not for speed, but for accuracy. If you are using these as short-cuts to save time, you will fail. If you are using them to help you create and test hypotheses so you can bring the right solution to the client, you will be successful.
The Fix – Research, Listen and Test Assumptions Early and Often – Bigger Deals require A LOT of effort before you even go after them. Develop your preparation strategy: research deeply; prepare fully, go into “listening mode” with key questions to build your assumptions to present to your prospect for validation. Then follow your instincts and your intuition to move forward.
A Lack of Disciplined Focus – Often, going after the big deal requires that we “build the plane as we fly it”. That is just a fact of life. We may not like it, but given the volatility and unpredictability of the companies we target, we live in that reality. And when we don’t have a template or a model, we easily lose focus
The Fix – Develop Your Process Together and Manage It as Team – Use your team to build (or rebuild) your sales process and detail each action step. Create a culture of accountability, feedback and measurement that enables follow-through and follow-up. If we are stuck, we lose focus. If we lose focus for too long, we fail. Create strategies to avoid the sticky spots before you get trapped. Create a culture of discipline to stay on track.
All three roadblocks can be removed if you and your team develop a series of realistic strategies, processes, and action-points to shift you forward.
Rosemary DiDio Brehm, CPF, is Chief Results Officer at turningpoints2results and a Licensed Facilitator with The Whale Hunters. turningpoints2results is a business development consulting firm based in Clearwater, FL that helps business succeed and grow by helping companies target, shift and grow priorities, people, and profits. Contact Rosemary at rosemary (at) turningpoints2results.com or 727-443-0319