As I drove to work today, I passed 4 joggers, all with different styles, paces and appearances. As usual, I saw the similarities between what I observed and the sales profession.
Jogger #1 was an overweight man, in his 50’s, working very hard, but not going very fast or far. He had lots of unnecessary motion and wasted energy, was wearing himself out, and showing little in the way of results. He instantly reminded me of the salesperson who works lots of hours, always seems to have enough to keep quite busy, but never seems to get his opportunities moved through the pipeline to closure.
Jogger #2 was a middle-aged woman who was moving in slow motion. Until that moment, I did not believe anyone could run that slowly! She reminded me of salespeople who never seem to get new opportunities into their pipelines because they lack the urgency necessary to get on the phone and make calls.
Jogger #3 was the model of efficiency, with good speed, pace and motion. He reminded me of a salesperson who has a purpose, stays focused, and accomplishes his goals.
Jogger #4 was actually sprinting. He was pushing it to the limit, exhibiting good form and clearly able to outrun the field. He reminded me of an elite salesperson – the top 6% – that start out fast in the morning, quickly get their calls made, get results from those calls, and then conduct effective sales calls, meetings and presentations. These salespeople have consultative selling skills, make it look easy, and close the majority of their fully-qualified opportunities, crashing through goals and quotas.
What kind of salespeople/joggers populate your sales force?
Most sales organizations, regardless of size, lack enough #4s and that’s not even the real problem. The actual problem is that most sales leaders and their CEO’s are OK with that! They accept it as part of business. Think about how many other sales problems must frustrate executives like that. How many of those issues would go away if they hired better salespeople?
It’s never too late to change perspectives. It’s never too late to start hiring the right salespeople. Consider OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessments. Yesterday, I led a tour that discussed The Magic Behind OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessment. You can view the 20-minute presentation here.
It’s never too late to learn about your existing salespeople either. Wouldn’t you like to know whether or not you have future #4s that simply need to be better trained and coached? It’s never too late to learn whether your #1s and #2s will never change. And don’t you want to know why, as a sales organization, you aren’t finding and closing more business?
You need sales force intelligence. Not intelligence that you get for your sales force, like Hoovers, but intelligence on your sales force, like Objective Management Group. That’s where a sales force evaluation comes in. Can your underperformers be saved? Can your performers improve? Have you been selecting the right people? How must that change?
How can your salespeople more effectively find, convince, qualify and close more new business? Your ability to impact sales through improvement and change is dependent on having the right answers to the right questions. Objective Management Group asks and answers 19 critical business questions about your sales force to provide you with the needed intelligence on your sales force that leads to better decisions, increased sales and improved win-rates, sales cycles and selection.
Executives tend to be just like those joggers too. Only a small percentage make use of the available intelligence to improve revenue generation and profit. The rest make a lot of noise, vary between the status quo and constant change, and exert lots of wasted efforts for minimal gain. Which type are you?