On Cycles: In Life, Sales and At The Zoo

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On a recent field trip to the San Diego Zoo with my daughter Hannah (on my knee in the photo), the students, parent-chaperones and teachers went through an introductory one hour interactive session called the “Life Cycles Program”. We were all entertained by a great speaker who took us through the Four Steps in the Life Cycle ( birth, growth, maturity and decline), and the children were then allowed to pet a blue skink lizard that was shedding his skin as part of the phase 2 growth step that he was going through.

Shortly after this, we went on with our excursion through the magnificent park, and happened upon one of the displays where the giraffes live. Several of the zoo employees were corralling us to the side to let us know that an amazing event was unfolding: a mother giraffe was in the midst of giving birth to her calf! Alas, the first step of the Life Cycle was upon us. We were all excited, and asked to keep as quiet as possible as to not disturb this process (good luck on that with a group of 36 eight year olds!).

Cycles are also prevalent in business. There’s the product cycle, the sales cycle, buying cycle, etc. One of the most rewarding components in my career is watching a sales person, Manager, VP of Sales or Executive “get it” when I am bringing a new perspective to them and their team. With the “birth” of a new idea, many see an enhanced way of representing their organization to prospects and existing customers, and the results do follow.  And the primary vantage point that we strive to help our customers to adopt is one from the perspective of their customers. It is not, and never has been about the seller and/or his product, service or organization. It is about the customer, and if you do not understand what motivates them to want to use what you are selling, very little will ultimately happen.

We discuss the importance of matching your sales process with your customer’s buying cycle, as many leaders of Sales organizations confuse the term sales cycle with the important steps they go through during opportunity development. Be careful; it’s not about you as mentioned above! It is important to take the step back and identify if your customer or prospect is in the Solution Development, Evaluation or Commitment phase of their buying cycle. Only then can you determine how to match up your sales process to facilitate the buying process.

The skink sheds his skin as a natural part of its growth phase. How have you and your sales team adapted to the ever changing landscape between buyers and sellers? Mother Nature will move us along in the Life Cycle, whether we like it or not. Be sure to make sure that your buyer’s cycle is one that you are a part of, not one that you are on the outside looking in. Oh, and yes, the mother giraffe gave birth to a healthy calf, and both are doing well. Some of the questions by the 2nd graders on the bus ride back to school still have me perplexed, but that’s alright.

Flannery Sales Systems – We help you drive revenue through sales process.