The enemy of improved business development is usually not more information or new fresh strategies (give me a break.) The real enemy of improvements that would increase your sales volume, revenue, profits and commissions is a 6-letter word: change.
If you are a CEO, Sales VP or Biz Dev leader, you have an increased and critically important role in fighting this enemy.
If you know your organization should sell more or be servicing accounts of a higher quality, it is not new and improved information that is holding you back. The information, tactics, and strategies that would vault you forward are readily available, easy to find.
But better info and strategies are worthless without the willingness to properly execute them.
Understand this: this is not a complaint or a rant, it is reality. Most people, who are fully capable of greater and more glorious achievement, deny themselves improvements that would transform their lives simply because they are unwilling to change.
Now, and this is where the CEO and sales leadership play a critical role. You must understand that most people, if allowed to, will stay within their comfort zones.
Doesn’t matter if they can be superstars and yet are currently mediocre performers. For most, an unwillingness to change is blocking their improvement.
Temporary discomfort is a rock-solid wall that many are unwilling to break through to realize their full potential.
It is not lack of information or new fresh strategies that are the real block to improvements; it is the willingness to be uncomfortable in the short term to reach levels of performance that are life changing, that is the real roadblock to improvements.
I know that there is nothing I teach that is hard or difficult to grasp. The sales strategies, script methods, process improvements that can be life changing literally float through the air and are accessible to everyone. Everyone who can read and has sufficient motivation to find them can determine what will get them to where they want to go.
But once found, individuals have to change. That old phrase “What got you here won’t get you there.” comes into play. Individuals have to change habits, practices, routines and methods that are really comfortable for them.
No one says, “What I am doing sucks. I’m making a fraction of what I should be making. What I am doing is just not working. I am capable of far more. But you know what, I’m comfortable with my current scripts, how I talk to prospects and my daily routine, and I am just not going to change.” No one says that, but for many it is reality.
What do people say in order to resist change when they know they should change?
I don’t want to be salesy. (One reps salesy is another reps revenue machine and their clients love them.) I don’t want to be high pressure. (Who is advocating that?) I don’t want to be like them. (Them- meaning the successful reps.) That wouldn’t work in my area, in my industry. Or “I sell to businesses on the left side of the street, that works for businesses on the right-side of the street.”
Don’t believe your own BS.
The rationalizations get insane.
If you are a CEO or sales leader, you have a special role to play in not letting this reality of human behavior hold back the productivity of your team. Left unchecked; if standards are not set, if you don’t set expectations to be met, most reps will stick to their comfort zones and produce far less than they are capable of.
When I talk about a CEO or sales leaders setting standards, they expect to be met, I am not talking about activity. I am not talking about demanding more calls, more emails, more proposals, and just more and more activity because you don’t know or are not willing to solve the real problem.
More activity rarely leads to success. Doing more of what is inefficient and mostly unproductive gives you a short-term bump, at best, while baking inefficiency, low response, and low converting methods into your business development plan.
If you are a CEO or sales leader, you must set standards as to how the things that lead to results are done. Set standards and actively coach and guide your reps as to how to do the things that lead to the result you seek. More ideal clients that are highly profitable.
You set standards as to who to reach out to, how to conduct those calls, how to conduct meetings, being prepared, what to say, when to go to the proposal stage, and much more. You set standards for the substantive actions which, if done correctly or within a certain “zone of adequacy” or “zone of acceptableness” that you know provide the best shot at landing ideal clients on the right terms.
The most success turnaround projects I have been involved with had a manager actively involved in training or actively coaching their reps on the HOW of reaching results. The most successful sales teams I have been involved with have managers that set standards and expect them to be met.
Not just activity which alone rarely leads to improved long-term success, but the specific behaviors which lead to long-term success.
If you are a rep, not where you want to be, understand that it is not a lack of more info that is denying achievement you are capable of. It is your unwillingness to change current practices, be uncomfortable for a while, to try and fail, to test than test again, to hear “no,” until it all comes together and you reach the top level of results and achievement you are fully capable of.