For many, the next idea is going to be better than the one that came before it. They believe the next evolution of the sales process is going to be more effective than the existing process, the next new methodology better than the last. The next digital offering is going to revolutionize sales like nothing seen before, turning the industry on its head, and changing sales forever. The next new research report is going to provide a greater depth of understanding of how you should sell and what your clients need from you.
Looking for “next” is chasing, and chasing is how one avoids doing the work necessary for producing better results. Also, there is something you can easily recognize in those who chase: they rarely ever execute the fundamentals consistently enough to produce results, being too busy looking for something better, something easier, and something new.
If you are going to chase, chase impeccable execution of the fundamentals.
You Know What You Need to Do
The execution of opportunity creation requires a few different activities. It starts with targeting your dream clients, those prospective clients who will perceive your value proposition as strategic, worth changing providers to obtain, and worth paying more for the better results you produce. Creating an opportunity means capturing mindshare by nurturing those relationships and executing a persistent, professional pursuit plan. You create opportunities by prospecting and scheduling meetings with your dream clients and prospects.
The time you spend trying to avoid, over-automate, or over-optimize these activities, the worse your execution.
In addition to executing against the activities that create opportunities, you need to execute opportunity capture, i.e., winning those opportunities. In most cases, this means face-to-face, or video face to video face, or ear-to-ear conversations with your dream clients. The execution of those meetings require you to plan your sales call, have a theory about what creates enough value for your dream client to continue to engage in the sales conversation, and gaining the commitment to take the next step. It also requires that you know how to control the process and, in complex sales, how to manage the many and varied stakeholders who are going to weigh in on any decision to change.
The execution of a sales process includes good discovery work, proper development of solutions, and excellent presentation and proposal skills. All of this work now requires you have the business acumen and the relationship to create a preference to work with you, your company, and your solution.
Everything outside of these two major outcomes, opportunity creation, and opportunity capture, is commentary, even when it is vital to good sales hygiene.
All of this is to remind you that the difference in your future result isn’t likely to found in anything “new,” unless what is new is your commitment to impeccable execution.