Myth 1: Results are the most important thing in sales
Many organizations suffer from ‘RFP’ – Results Focused Paradigm! They can slice and dice the numbers every which way… daily, weekly, monthly, by product, by postcode. It’s a disease. Our focus has swung too far – analyzing results at the expense of the inputs that create the outputs.
Activities are the most important thing in sales. You show me a peak performer in sales, and I’ll show you a person focused on doing all the right activities to guarantee the results.
Myth 2: Pipeline Forecast Reports or CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management) equal ‘Big Brother is watching me!’
The problem? Organizations fail to create a really compelling ‘WHY’ frame for their people; in other words, why should I (the sales person) use it. In their eyes, it becomes a sales management tool where big brother is watching them.
A CRM or Pipeline tool is a peak performing sales persons best friend. It is an automated way to make their life easier – not ‘another chore’. It tracks critical conversion ratios that illustrate how much activity is required to land the target. Properly ‘positioned’ and providing it is well implementedl, the entire team will totally get the WIIFM.
Myth 3: Existing clients are the way to go.
Depending on the book you read, it’s 7, 9 or even 12 times less expensive to keep and grow an existing account, than it is to find a new one. Agreed. That’s not the myth, but the thinking contributes to one. I am not saying this is wrong, but be careful of the resultant condition…
If your business loses clients (and I have not seen one yet who doesn’t) then someone better be doing some serious new acquisition activity.
The correct reality: Servicing existing accounts will get you 80% of the way, but to nail 100% plus, there must be a balance of all three activities which drive revenue results; Prospecting (hunting), Securing (pipeline), and Retention (servicing existing clients).
Myth 4: I’ve done enough sales activity – I can slow down now.
The pipeline is full, the sales results are pouring in. Now a dangerous thought creeps in, ‘I’ve done enough.’ No way!
Common sense corner: The results are flowing in because you honoured the ‘Activities First’ law. If you put your foot on the ‘activities brake’, the results will back off. When the going gets easier it usually means you are going downhill.