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If your win rate would increase substantially by your making an additional face-to-face sales call, would the “lack of efficiency” be worth the increase in effectiveness?

If slowing down and spending more time in the discovery phase would allow you to come up with the right solution through collaboration while also building consensus, would slowing down be valuable if it meant a greater likelihood of winning the deal?

Would the time spent nurturing your dream clients over the course of 36 months be worth it that initiative was responsible for your winning two or three multi-million dollar opportunities with the kind of loyal clients that remain with you for a decade?

Efficiently Inefficient

There is a particular focus on increasing efficiency in sales that stems from the digital age in which we find ourselves. The desire to use technology to gain efficiencies has caused companies and salespeople to trade automated emails for phone calls, and web meetings for face-to-face to meetings, reducing the time and the expense of selling.

Because efficiency is the stated goal, the reliance on technology is accompanied by a form of Taylorism, slicing the sales roles thinner and thinner in attempt to “reserve the most expensive” sales resources for “closing well-qualified leads.” Both of these strategies are supposed to win more deals faster, and at a lower price. The less expensive, less effective salesperson is the first to speak to a prospective client, instead of the greater value creator.

Like many good ideas, when one takes an idea too far, the result is often the opposite of what was intended. The complex, dynamic, and non-linear activity that is selling doesn’t resemble the assembly line. Your efficiency doesn’t do anything to help people and companies change, and make no mistake when you are selling that you are engaged in change management (whether you like it or not, and whether you believe you are responsible for doing so).

No Wasted Effort

The additional face-to-face call isn’t inefficient if it increases your wins. If not making the call means you are likely to lose, you wasted all the effort up to that point, making skipping the face-to-face call inefficient.

If slowing down to create greater value and certainty for your prospective client and all their stakeholders means you have the right answer and the support that results in a win, it is inefficient not to have the additional meetings.

When you repeatedly do something that causes you to expend energy without achieving the desired outcome, that process is inefficient. For that process to be efficient, you’d need to achieve the result, in the case of selling, that means winning.

Sales 2019
Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 22, 2019

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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