Is Your Current Sales Methodology Living up to the Hype?

I know from speaking with sales reps and VP’s of Sales across the country that following someone else’s blueprint for success can be helpful, but it can also be a dangerous time-waster.

Sales formulas, processes, and strategies can seem like the flavor of the season.

Changing things up and moving on when something doesn’t work makes sense. But churning up chaos with fits of stops and starts can be a real career-killer.

One day it’s all about the Challenger Sales Model, and next year, it’s MEDDIC.  Every day it’s eat, sleep, and breathe the MEDDIC checklist.

Until, of course, we need more answers! And then you discover Scientific Selling. I mean, who can argue with SCIENCE?!

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Sales methodologies and their formulas become the next solution to all our sales problems.

Now I’m certainly not suggesting you shut your mind to new ideas. Or that you don’t take what you can use from valuable sales programs.

Everyone can take someone else’s ideas and apply them to their unique situation. New and old ideas alike help salespeople make money. Ideas help make things better.

But don’t forget, some advice should be thrown away.

Someone else can’t do your thinking for you. I’ll bet what works for SAP isn’t going to work the same way for you.

Because businesses are grown in different times with different circumstances, there will only be one SAP, and no one will clone them. Not to mention, why would we need another SAP when we already have one?

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Magic Sales Methodologies and Formulas

Let’s say there is a magic sales formula out there. I’d bet we’d all follow it and have predictable results. But the frustrating or exhilarating thing (depending on how you see it) about sales is that it’s part art and part science.

And there is one solid-as-steel reason for this.

It’s because we deal with PEOPLE.

And the people we read about online, the buyer profiles we create, and the customer personas we draw up are never quite right.

There are always a few nuances, a few surprises, and unpredictable factors we don’t see coming.

There are inevitably some questions we ask that don’t land right with the people we’re trying to persuade.

Maybe our internal processes cannot support the business principles that must be adopted for said sales methodologies to work.

But when we’re feeling pressure, frustrated, or overwhelm, we go looking for answers. And with a quick search, you’ll find the internet can be counted on to deliver answers.

(Occasionally, I look up the LinkedIn profile of some of these advice-givers and find that many have shallow experience and lack expertise.)

Some of the recommended solutions will even create more problems than they solve.

The bottom line is this……

You can read a report, download a guide, but at the end of the day, the only way to find out information is to ask the people in YOUR company.

Find out what’s true for you. Make a hypothesis and test it as quickly as possible to see if you’re headed in the right or wrong direction.

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So what are the hidden costs of someone else’s blueprints?

You are at risk of stopping and starting. Looking indecisive and losing the ability to trust your own good common sense.

You ignore what’s in front of you for general information coming from some other channel once removed from your own unique situation.

So collect new ideas, and certainly think them over.

Brainstorm with your colleagues, executives, peers, and direct reports. Ask the people you’re working with because they understand the situation first-hand.

Consider how timing, current market conditions, the people involved, power dynamics, finances, corporate culture, executive leadership, and the competitive landscape impact your situation.

Leverage and apply the ideas that might fit, test promising solutions, and throw everything else out.

Over the lifespan of my recruiting career (15+ years), I’ve had many repeat clients. Clients who’ve worked with me for years.

But I’ve never had the same client twice. And I have yet to experience the same job market twice.

Of course, don’t take my word for it……

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