Let’s Revolutionize Our Thinking

 

Posted By Lewis Miller | Sep 25, 2014

 

As we all try and grasp this innovative age of buying and selling, we see the typical analysts' and industry experts' contributions to an early stage market. The objective is to write their way of thinking on the market to help shape how we see the goals, challenges, and solutions we struggle to articulate to put substance to an intangible concept. Most recently, Scott Santucci of Forrester Research did just this in his current report, “The Sales Enablement Execution Landscape.” Scott opens with a statement I couldn’t agree with more:

“Use business goals that are specifically defined to fulfill the expectations that executives have of your sales force. Resist the urge to grab onto “silver bullets” and instead take the time to socialize goals, avoid scope creep, and continuously accumulate wins by leveraging new capabilities and suppliers.”

Beautifully stated; however the six pragmatic goal categories (develop, position, locate, align, engage, assemble) then dive into very tactical activities to attempt to drive desired results. This almost assuredly creates the “silver bullet” fantasy that one element will solve your sales execution challenges and allow you to reach your goal. And these categories are great for tactical sales activities, but what about the market elements and changes in buyer behavior? No wonder only 50% of sales reps today are making quota and that sales leaders find it increasingly difficult to meet revenue and business goals.

While the entire report is a great tactical guide to categorically driving “incremental yet continuous improvement” in key areas, there is still a need to strategize around how to systematize ALL of these reciprocal interactions. While the report touches upon the new concepts beginning to emerge in leading companies, he admits that “today’s organizations are, at worst, unintentionally contributing to the overall mess.”

We’re still missing the “systems thinking” required to be able to see each of these categories as interdependencies. Peter Senge defines it well:

“Systems thinking is a way of thinking about, and a language for, describing and understanding the forces and interrelationships that shape the behavior of systems (people, processes, technologies). This discipline helps us to see how to change systems more effectively, and to act more in tune with the natural processes of the natural and economic world.”

Looking at one piece of the equation won’t workWe need to see sales challenges in this context to give perspective on the problems and solutions to understand what we need to do differently in order to meet the desired goal. Looking at one piece of the equation won’t work - you need to see all sides.

Having the ability to gauge the impact of new developmental activities (product training, negotiation workshops, etc.) on how your sales team engages both internal and external stakeholders is how leading companies are ensuring they are not adding to the chaos, but creating mature, optimized selling systems to achieve their goals.

Here at Qvidian, we’re busy helping our customers adapt their sometimes rigid and outdated selling systems (or those that simply won't bend to the diverse needs of today’s business landscape) to an agile selling platform dynamically tied to existing (or sometimes new - like CRM) enablement tools. A guided selling system is far from a one-time “silver bullet” – it’s an end to end solution that allows sales teams to quickly adapt the selling process by automatically updating the guidance and resources provided as deals change and evolve. We’re overdue to change the way we sell, so let’s revolutionize our thinking to get there.