As a big proponent of Verne Harnish’s Rockefeller Habits , I believe that this statement from Verne applies in all areas of business; especially sales.523-routine-cartoon

I had the opportunity to sit down with a successful business owner the other day and he brought some interesting insights to the sales effectiveness challenges that we were discussing. This executive’s background is finance and he runs a successful software and services company. Almost all of his sales experience is “on the job training.” From this perspective he brought some new thinking to the ideas we were discussing regarding sales effectiveness, sales process, value proposition and supporting tools.

As we latched onto the subject of creativity in sales, he said something very interesting. “What you have done here is create a framework that enhances sales creativity rather than stifle it.” I had never had anyone else use this language, so I asked him to explain.

He said that from his perspective, the idea of a common framework and daily habits for approaching large sales opportunities eliminates the uncertainty of “what to do next” that often exists in longer sales cycles. Many of his sales cycles last 12 months or more and the results are certainly attractive enough to warrant the effort – but it gets difficult to keep the sales teams aligned throughout multiple 12 month cycles. With many people applying their creative juices independently, things get confused and important activities can be missed or glossed over.

His view is that by applying a consistent framework, supported by easy to use tools, all steps are covered and the creative side of sales can be better applied in the areas where it is needed most. The “Routine Sets You Free” mantra applies because alignment is achieved, deal reviews are consistent and real client data is captured over time.

He used the client’s decision making criteria as an example. In many cases, the client and our sales team will focus exclusively on the obvious factors of the decision; functionality, service, support etc. The tools cover these but also stimulate thinking about other factors like personal risk, reputation, the client’s clients, cultural fit, contracting flexibility etc. By identifying and discussing all of these factors, the team can apply creativity and brainpower in the best possible way.

Routine really can set you free and increase your sales effectiveness.



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