There are some old sayings that people use not because they are always true, but “they seem to fit”, you know “saving the best for last”, or “last but not least”, well today as we wrap up our BANTER series, it is entirely true that we saved the best for the last instalment. BANTER again is the acronym for:
Monday we looked at Budget and Accountability, Wednesday we discussed Need and Timelines, today, the best, my favourite EXECUTION, followed by Review.
Execution – just the sound of it makes one feel good. After all isn’t it the only thing that counts in the end. How many sales books have been written? Some great, others just sad. How many sales training programs are there available to sales organizations, how many have you attended? But no matter how good, even my programs, they are just words until they are executed. Almost every sales person I have met knew what he/she had to do; the mystery has always been why they don’t do it. Further, the difference between great and good is the execution. I have seen reps put into practice what they have learned right away, they don’t always do it pretty, but they do it. As they do it they improve, learn, refine and do it again, this time better. The key is they execute, and as a result, they are way ahead of the ones who can rationalize why they haven’t done it yet. We have all met that one rep, knows the whole book inside out, can quote you complete sections of SPIN, but haven’t made goal in the three years since the workshop because they haven’t put it into practice, no execution.
No matter what anyone tells you, the only silver bullet in sales is execution, everything else is just talk!
Review – The great thing about executing is it gives you something to review, learn from and build on. I have never been a big football fan, but the one concept that has always appealed to me was the notion of “watching the game tapes”. Every successful sales person I have worked with has spent part of their planning time reviewing, otherwise how could they really plan.
They do this on a number of levels; starting with reviewing meetings to understand what worked what did not, why it did or did not. How can they capture the pluses and build them into their playbook, and what can be avoided, or what has become outdated, etc. Reviewing wins and losses are key; some do one, or the other, it is important to review both. It is important to review, territories, personal sales skills and accounts.
When it comes to reviewing accounts, it is a good idea to do a review for you, but also a separate review with the client as well. It is a great opportunity to take the focus off “selling”, and put it on what is important to the client. It is a great way to demonstrate your responsiveness to their needs or to problems when they arise. What evolves is an opportunity to get the client to discuss and review their priorities; it is amazing the type of insight and information you uncover during a review meeting. You should involve everyone touched by your product, not just the buyer. Often one of their people better makes the case for your quality and service than you. You can also sit back and learn as they discuss internal issues among themselves. You can then review you that and fine-tune your offering. While reviews are not set up a sales calls, the fact that the client often get involved and let their “buyer face” down, it turns into a very productive sales meeting.
So now, you can review the whole BANTER series, and get to executing it.
What’s in Your Pipeline?