Recently, I wrote, Predictable Revenue. It’s about sales process, in the article I made a statement which is suddenly making the rounds on social media. I said, “While the concept of the sales process is very simple—do what works, don’t do what doesn’t work, recognize the patterns for success, repeat, repeat, repeat.”
The concept, Do What Works, Don’t Do What Doesn’t, really applies to everything we do.
Some of you are getting pissed off, thinking “Dave you are stating the obvious, do you take us for idiots?”
Well, no, but…..
Too often I see organizations committed to doing what doesn’t work. Perhaps we get so focused on activity and velocity, we don’t examine what we are doing, or we do what we have always done.
We know we need to have a sales process, but too often we don’t, or we don’t use it.
We know we are supposed to hire the right people, but too often we settle for what we get.
We know we are supposed to coach, but we don’t find the time or we don’t train our managers in how to coach.
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We know we have to have clear performance expectations and our people need to own the accountability for achieving them, but we don’t take the time to engage our people in these discussions.
We know training by itself is unsustainable, that it needs to be reinforce with coaching, integrated into our processes, tools, programs, and methods.
We know our prospecting messages have to be personalized, relevant, and focused on what the customer cares about, but it’s easier to paper the world with spam, hoping enough are foolish enough to respond.
We know we have to understand our customers, their business and drivers, to engage them on terms meaningful to them. Yet we spend know time on business acumen, we don’t leverage our research tools as we should.
We know we should create value in every interaction with the customer, yet we focus on pitching our products (which the customer already knows through their self-educations).
We know we aren’t supposed to sell on price (unless our differentiation is based solely on price), yet we lead with price and start discounting before the customer asks.
Too often, we know what works, and what doesn’t, but we don’t have the courage and discipline to do what works or stop what doesn’t. It is easier to repeat the same old stuff, even if it isn’t producing the desired outcomes.
But sometimes we don’t know…. Then we have to figure it out. We can pretty easily figure out what doesn’t work. We can learn, experiment, talk to others–maybe our customers, to start learning what does work. It takes some time, we make some errors, but eventually we figure that out. After all, figuring out what works and executing it consistently is our job.
We have to be cautious, things change. What worked yesterday, doesn’t work as well today, and won’t work tomorrow. So we have to be attentive, What Works is constantly evolving. If we stop paying attention, What Works no longer works….but we keep doing it, failing to produce results.
Hundreds of books, thousands of posts are published by guru’s every year. Cutting through the 100’s of thousands of words written, fundamentally what they are saying is, “This is what works…” We still have to be cautious, it’s what works for them, but may not work for us. We have to adapt that advice, figuring out What Works for us.
In addition to What Works always changing, we also know that What Works is that it is different for each organization. So it’s our responsibility to figure it out. If we copy our competition, or someone else, or what a guru says, we are only doing what works for them, not what works for us.
But with all that said, producing results consistently isn’t magic, Do What Works, Don’t Do What Doesn’t.