I want you to think about this.
If a sales process alone was enough to ensure that salespeople win business, then the results most sales organizations produce would be radically improved. Their results would be far better than they are. A sales process is important, even critical, but it isn’t enough to ensure salespeople produce the results they are capable of.
If a methodology was enough to produce better results, any organization that bought into a new methodology would see immediate improvement once that methodology was installed, trained, and implemented. Methodologies are important. They’re processes you run inside your sales process. For some reason, however, they don’t move the bell curve that is the whole sales force forward.
So we now look to technology. The promise of CRM was that once the salesperson’s activity could be tracked, measured, and managed appropriately, better performance would follow as sure day follows night. Additionally, forecasting sales would be simple and accurate, and leaders could easily make decisions based on their forecasts. None of this, however, has proven true.
Social Selling was supposed to connect salespeople to their prospective clients in a new way, a way that would make the old, antiquated prospecting methods a thing of the past. With these new tools, every salesperson could easily connect with their prospects, engage them in a conversation, and quickly create new opportunities. Yet, with all the new tools, sales performance has still not improved.
The digital age required a new way of organizing a sales force so that better results could be more easily had. Instead of having a salesperson, we sliced the roles into BDRs, SDRs, AEs, and AMs, all supported by SMEs. The answer had to be that dividing the roles into people who qualify, people who do discovery, people who close deals, and people who manage clients would produce the results sales organizations needed. This was the silver bullet. Except, it wasn’t. And it isn’t.
The top 20 percent of any sales force has the same product, pricing, irrational competitors as the rest of the sales force. They have the same process, same methodologies, and same technologies. They all work for the same company, and they call on the same prospective clients. The reason they are in the top 20 percent is because they are better salespeople.
If you want better sales results, build better salespeople, better sales managers, and better sales leaders. The processes, the methodologies, and the tools are more powerful when put in the hands of someone worth buying from in the first place.