Getting Our Acts Together
I co-authored an article on planning years ago with my former business partner, Kate Reilly, one of the co-founders of Consultative Resources Corp. (CRC). CRC has been training sales professionals for more than 30 years. Just before the article was formally submitted, Kate inserted a new opening line: “Mention the word planning and salespeople start to yawn.”
The fact is that most salespeople would rather be doing than planning. They want to be out there. We have heard countless sales mangers lament about what a lousy job of planning their salespeople do all the time. Yes, all the time. We have also heard of many lost opportunities that could be attributed primarily to the lack of planning prior to the client meeting.
Sales teams often fall into the same trap. They work diligently in putting together their presentation. They develop some wonderful innovative recommendations to present to their customers. They do the necessary research and market analysis so that they have a solid understanding of the opportunity. They often feel gratified about what they did to be ready to tell their great story.
But after putting all this time and effort and energy into developing their presentation, they don't take the necessary steps to plan how they will present to the client. They just don't do it. It's another example of the content versus process conundrum. They know pretty much what they want to do, they just haven't figured out how to do it. And that can lead ...