In our follow up to last week's March Madness write-up, we discuss the idea of "sales madness", and the notion that it can be defined similarly to insanity, or doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
There are four reasons that make up our judgement into sales madness. They are:
1.) Uncoachable Salespeople
2.) A failure to recognize that the game has changed
3.) Being allergic to hard work
4.) A failure to add value
Like many of you, I always enjoy the month of March. The temperature at least is supposed to start trending in the right direction…my birthday occurs in March (thanks to all of you who sent gifts)…and last, but certainly not least, is the NCAA basketball tournament that we have come to know as March Madness. Wall-to-wall basketball with good food and good friends is something we look forward to each year here at Anthony Cole Training Group.
As a sales coach, there is another kind of madness I see that is not exclusive to the month of March. I refer to it as "Sales Madness." I define sales madness just like others have defined insanity: doing the same thing over and over while at the same time expecting a different outcome.
So, what about this other kind of madness? Where does it come from? I sense there are several reasons why salespeople keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, but, to keep our theme of March Madness alive, I give you my “Final Four” reasons that make up the madness.
- Uncoachable salespeople - Some salespeople are simply averse to changing their game. Maybe they are stubborn. Maybe they have an inflated sense of how good they really are at putting the ball in the basket. For whatever reason, the salesperson will push back when anyone attempts to coach them to higher levels of performance.
- A failure to recognize that the game has changed - It still surprises me how many salespeople are trying to sell like the famous musical artist Prince – like it is 1999. Buyers today are on a journey. They are more informed than ever before. They are starting the process on their own instead of waiting for a salesperson to reach out to them. Almost 80% of C-Suite level prospects have indicated they will not even come to the phone for a conversation with a salesperson they do not know.
- Being allergic to hard work - Some salespeople have concluded they can continue to have the same (or even better) results without hustling even more for rebounds and loose balls on the floor. That won’t cut it. There is more competition to deal with…not less. Prospects are more cautious…not less. Buying cycles (note that I did not say sales cycles) are longer…not shorter. Sure, you might be really talented. But remember this – hustle beats talent when talent doesn’t hustle.
- A failure to add value - Two things happen when salespeople don’t provide value along the buyers' journey that prospects take: they don’t differentiate and they don’t build relationships. Add those two things together and it might explain those unreturned emails and voicemails.
I always like asking the salespeople I coach one simple question:
- How much are you willing to put on the table in terms of what you are willing to change? Those that are willing to take the scary route of change generally score more often.
Enjoy your Spring…and here is to confining the madness to the hardwood!