What Do You Mean My GPS Won't Work?

 

Posted By Kathy Kliskey | Jul 24, 2015

 

Have you ever taken a trip to a fairly remote location? By “remote” I simply mean to an area that is less populated than most. The other day, I took a trip to the mountains of New England, not very remote by anyone’s standards. Still, I wanted to find the fastest way to get to my destination, and so, I relied on my GPS navigation. I entered my destination, selected the route and headed out. About halfway there, my GPS announced “Navigation guide service will not be provided through all sections of this route.” “Good to know,” I grumbled, “nice time to tell me.” I was already in the mountains and now, I was on my own. In thinking about sales forecasting and the role of any sales rep and every sales VP, I couldn’t help but think that this is how they must often feel.


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In sales, as Lewie Miller, President of Qvidian states in this video, when a VP asks for a forecast, it's human nature for reps to only want to share what they are most comfortable reporting, but that is not helpful to the VP who must create the forecast for the company. How do you prepare for challenges if you can’t see them? Just like me driving through the mountains – how could I know which roads to take if the guidance I was relying on suddenly stopped? We’re left to our best guesses, and there’s a very good chance we will guess wrong.

One way to improve our odds is to secure the best guidance before we head out. This won’t necessarily alter sales reps’ reporting behavior, but it may help them secure more solid opportunities for sales and close more of those deals significantly improving the overall situation for the organization. As for me, next time I travel through the mountains, I will consult a map to familiarize myself with the possible routes before I head out. I will research which roads may be closed during winter months, what detours I might expect due to road construction, and which roads are likely to be jammed with other travelers. That way, I can avoid the pitfalls that my GPS may not be able to see. I won’t be relying on partial data.

As Lewie Miller, President and CEO of Qvidian, states, “If you think of sales execution solutions as a technology that helps guide a sales person through the selling process in an optimal way making sure that the sales person has the right content, tools, resources and expertise to allow them to complete the selling process in the most effective way, then it provides an end-to-end technology that provides the greatest possible value to the organization to get improved sales productivity.”

 

Understanding the buyer’s journey is no different than understanding the traveler’s journey. To be successful, both journeys require preparation, guidance, and awareness of all potential challenges and pitfalls. Engaging technology to deliver this information makes our lives easier, but we need to make sure the technology delivers all the information at the appropriate times. No GPS should cut out on you when you need it most.