Bottleneck-WPI remember when the CEO invested in what I, the VP of Sales of a mid-sized company, felt was a foolish amount of money on a new Marketing Director. But what really bothered me, was what the new position represented, change.
Although my sales team was exceeding quota, the landscape changed. And I knew if I didn’t change, I’d get run over.
The forces of change had been building for some time. To stay ahead of the competition, we needed to rapidly increase the size of our delivery team. But it didn’t come cheap. It required not only a large capital infusion, but also our agreement to rapidly scale our sales.
In fact, when I first saw the sales quota we agreed to, it was so far beyond what I imagined that my heart was in my throat. Clearly, the heroic sales model had to go. No longer could just of a few star salespeople close all of the business, while the rest of the sales team operated as gloried inside sales reps. To feed the beast, the new Marketing Director and I had to work together to not only increase the number of new opportunities, but also to increase the number of salespeople who were capable of pursuing them.
But I was so caught up in the tactical aspect of advancing sales opportunities that slowing down, so that I could help my team to become more, took me out of my comfort zone. Although I tried to get on board, working on projects that didn’t give an immediate return made me feel like I was drowning, so I would return to the tactical demands of the job for security. I’m sure this made me difficult for the Marketing Director to work with, but with time, I came around, and in the end, we tripled the size of the business in just 18-months.
So, maybe it’s time for you, to do what the CEO did for me, and help a higher percentage of your sales team achieve quota, so that you can scale your business.
Show salespeople, for instance, how to engage customers in buying simulation scenarios (a special type of story), so that you sell more by inspiring your customers to act.
By vicariously experiencing how real people solved real problems using your stuff, your customers will feel as if they stepped inside a buying simulator, and took your offering out for a virtual test drive.
As a result, customers will gain the insight needed to discover the value of your offering on their terms, so that they are inspired to step out of the status quo, take action, and invest through you into a better tomorrow.
Remember, no one marched on Capitol Hill based off of a power point presentation, because facts and figures don’t inspire people to act. Telling purposeful stories, however, do, because they are how we make sense of the world. Indeed, we’ve been sharing stories for the past 100,000 years through cave paintings, and verbally for 10,000 years. In short, stories are part of our DNA. They’re how we’re wired.
But if you don’t capture and share these purposeful stories, won’t they remain as tribal knowledge in the heads of a few top performers? Is that what you want?
As the visionary for your company, isn’t it time to invest in the ability of your sales team to inspire customers to act, so that a higher percentage of your sales team achieves quota, and in turn, you scale the business?
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