Thursday, October 30, 2014

Is your sales strategy right or wrong? How do I know?

A prospective client was sharing some stories from an ongoing large sales opportunity they are pursuing. He concluded with this statement, “I think we have the right strategy now.”

I replied, “How do you know?” That caused a long thoughtful pause.

He admitted he had no way of knowing the answer to this question. And based on his use of the word "now" he had thought other strategies they had pursued was the "right strategy”. So how much confidence can you place in his latest declaration?

Let’s take a moment to explore what makes something right or wrong.

We have all taken test before and told whether we got an answer right or wrong. In this environment someone made a decision and documented what he/she views as the right answer to a given question. Your answer is deemed right or wrong by making a relative comparison against this known criteria. But what about passing a right or wrong judgment on something like the paint color your teenage son chooses for his bedroom. Most would say this is not possible as there are no hard rules from which to make a relative comparison. Not so fast my friends. I’d argue that if Dad has the final say on the paint color for the room then he and his personal tastes will determine right or wrong.

So where does a sales strategy fit in this spectrum. Is it vague and thus fall into the category of personal tastes or is it more concrete like a school exam?

My experience says it is a combination of the two. And the way you determine if the strategy you chose is right or wrong is by making a relative comparison to what you know about the formal and informal rules of how the buying decision will be made and the personal views and opinions of the people participating and/or influencing the process.

People make buying decisions not companies. And because they are people, their personal biases and interests will always be a factor.

Knowing which biases and how much of a factor is your sales challenge. Having a formal process in place to make this relative comparison is your company’s challenge.

Are you chasing an important complex sales opportunity in metro Atlanta?  Want to improve your chance of winning by subjecting your sales strategy to some outside seasoned scrutiny?  Let's talk over a cup of coffee.  Contact me here.

About the author. Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping businesses plan and execute aggressive growth strategies. He grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years. Mike is a sales process evangelist, prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former military officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.