While I recognize that baseball is not a sport that everyone follows, I wanted to share some insights from Billy Beane whose character was the main focus of the 2011 film, Moneyball. Billy was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Splunk Conference where he made a statement that is so applicable to the sales world that I have to share it with you...
Recently, we were meeting with a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to discuss training for their team in the science and art of prospecting. To kick things off, I asked the CRO about the current prospecting process and the plan to hold the sales people accountable. His answer?
“They aggressively sit at their desks waiting for the phone to ring.”
While we found the answer amusing, his response underlined the reality that their sales people had become order takers and not sales professionals.
In a previous blog post we discussed the book The Customer Service Revolution by John R. DiJulius and how companies and individuals have a tendency to approach clients with preconceived notions. We have this negative belief that our customers are always trying to put one over on us. It’s the 2% of customers trying to pull a fast one who prompt us to put up our defenses and drive us to believe every customer wants to screw us. But the reality is that most customers want us to be successful and profitable, in turn passing on fair pricing on our products and services. In this way, everyone benefits.
Have you seen The Martian? In this film, Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut who is left behind on Mars who must learn how to survive on a planet that is barren and he is utterly and completely alone. The thing that struck me most was how his character has to overcome so much adversity to survive that it seems like most of us would give up.
As salespeople, part of our job is to quickly learn exactly what a prospect’s role is within their organization and to ascertain their true motivations for engaging with us. By doing this, we are in a position of power that enables us to address their needs quickly and efficiently, ideally getting us to a strong sales opportunity.