The article below (and picture to the left) were originally posted to our blog in 2015, and again in September 2016. The second posting was when the Chicago Cubs began their historic run to win the American Baseball World Series Championship.
While we all look for the shiniest, new object to help increase our results, don’t forget to overlook the very fundamentals on which sales (or sports, music, language, art) success are founded. This lies in the basics as listed below, and having the first line Manager Coaching salespeople to improve their selling skills.
The quote on a t shirt worn by Joe Maddon, the Manager of the Chicago Cubs (an American baseball team) inspired me. It said “Do Simple Better”. Professional athletes focusing on how to do the simple things, better.
Hmmm, Do Simple Better. What does that mean to your team? In Sales, this is what the focus should be on, and as fundamental as it sounds, doesn’t always happen in the heat of identifying, developing and closing a healthy Sales Pipeline filled with qualified Opportunities.
- Understand the Prospect/Customer’s Primary Business Objectives (PBOs): what is the Decision Maker hoping to accomplish if they purchase your product or service?
- Identify the Challenges: what is happening in their business today that inhibits them from reaching the PBO? And what is the impact, financial and otherwise, if they don’t make a change?
- Align Your Capabilities: how do your capabilities help the Decision Maker to address the Challenges? Be specific in matching the capability, and make sure the prospect identifies the VALUE they could obtain through the use of your capabilities. If they can’t, you should be able to help paint the picture on value.
- Agree on a Clear Next Step: what is the next step that the prospect and you are taking to move forward? My colleague John Golden calls this an advance, as opposed to a continuation. Are we advancing this opportunity to the next step, or in a stall with one of the above mentioned items incomplete?
Items # 1 through 4 are the SIMPLE, or The Basics for sellers in early Opportunity development. They should all be discussed, documented and agreed to with the Decision Maker BEFORE sellers create a quote, write a proposal, ask for technical support or Marketing resources, build a presentation or respond to a tender/RFP.
Sales Leaders, it’s time to Coach your sellers to get the Simple right. Right now.