Situational Guidance is a Sales Pro's Caddy

 

Posted By Qvidian | Feb 02, 2015

 

Pick any top golfer – what makes them so great? Natural ability, a strong desire to win, lots of practice, the best coaches, trainers, and equipment? Well, if you give me Phil Mickelson’s $3,000 clubs and I’ll still hack my way around. Give Phil my $300 set and he’ll still shoot a 70.

Forget the top-guns, let’s focus on how to help an average player improve. Those who play know that you only have to improve certain aspects of your game to see your handicap improve. Hit more fairways off the tee, improve your short game, improve your putting, you can expect to knock 8-9 strokes a round off.

Here’s why golf is a tough game – you have to be consistent on ALL 18 holes. If you hit a 9 on the par 4 first, you may not recover. And here’s what makes golf really difficult – not just every course is different, but every shot. Even if you play the same course, no 2 shots are the same. There are a number of variables. Am I on the fairway? The right fairway? Then there’s the weather, the lie, wind, and placement of the flag. Who are you playing? Is anyone watching? Then grip, stance, swing plane...you get the idea.

Phil Mickelson

It can be paralyzing.

It’s not the rarefied air of the pros - to improve you’re talking some serious reengineering of your game. There are numerous components you have to change, both mentally and physically, and each is complex and takes time to affect.

Golf and the Art of Selling

The game of Golf and Sales have much in common. The best Sales reps have:

  • Natural ability
  • Strong desire to win
  • A lot of practice/experience
  • Access to best coaches/trainers
  • Access to best tools

To a point, the truly great reps will always be successful even when the world around them is changing – so let’s forget these guys. Focus on ‘moving the middle’. If you can get your ‘core reps’ to improve their performance by 5-10% and/or accelerate the time it takes new reps to become effective, you can see a bigger impact than if you had focused on your top performers.

Managing a Complex Sale is Like a Golf Tournament 

There is only 1 winner. Each hole is like a step in the sales cycle. You have to execute well at every level. Make a bad first impression, you may not finish the round or make the cut. Boy, it is situational. EVERY sale is different. What are you selling, who you are you selling to, who are you competing with, are you winning, losing, unforeseen situations, changing conditions. You have to tailor your message to multiple stakeholders – immense complexity sell and buy side and it can be overwhelming.

And to try and drive change across a sales organization, whether this is a shift from product to solution to insight, or introduce a new methodology, a new process, a new CRM, another technology – we’re asking reps to change behavior. It’s tough to do, and even tougher to get it to stick.

What is the one asset even the best golfers in the world RELY on to make them successful? The caddy. The caddy doesn’t just carry the clubs. They are golf strategists and mentors. Provide situational guidance/just in time coaching.

Who is Your Sales Caddy?

Something that provides situational guidance at each stage of the sales process, helps you through your next play. Tells you what tools to reach for, and give the information to make the right decision.

Putting this into technology and experience terms, that’s what Qvidian does. We offer a dynamic software framework that is deeply connected to your CRM system and provides your reps (at all levels of experience) with situational guidance.

You have to invest in multiple areas of the sales organization to sustain change of behavior. Training, coaching, comp, content, technology. In isolation, there’s limited payback. Our solution brings these things together and serves up to the rep in the context of each and every deal.