You could be the hero of the following story:
"How will I ever sustain my sales volume? It's all over the map. It's just weird."
That's the question Joe asks himself all year long. Joe is the regional sales manager for Phillips Software, developer of a prominent line of shop floor control software products. Phillips is headquartered in the capital of weirdness: Portland, Oregon.
Joe was telling his troubles to another regional sales manager, Mary, over coffee. Mary asked how he planned his sales year. Here's what she learned:
- Joe delivers a pep talk for the year on January 2nd.
- Joe sends sales reps to two trade shows each year.
- There is no sales process. Everyone does their own thing.
- There is no sales training. After all, everyone already knows how to sell. What more could they possibly learn?
Mary listened politely. She wanted to choke Joe, but she restrained herself. She asked, "Joe, what if there was a way to increase your sales, and sustain your sales year after year? Would you be interested in learning about it?" Joe quickly replied, "Yes, of course I would."
Mary said, "I recently attended a course titled, "Sustained Sales Growth." It was about increasing sales throughout the year, and sustaining it year after year. The program has three components. The first one is storytelling."
"Storytelling?" Joe replied. "What can storytelling have to do with sales?"
Mary explained that stories touch our hearts. Since we make decisions emotionally first, and then we rationalize, storytelling turns out to be a powerful emotional tool to close sales.
Next, Mary described the second tool: customized sales training. Immediately, Joe objected. "I've been to more sales training classes than the grains of sand in the ocean. If I see one more list of features and benefits, I'm going to throw up." Mary was ready. "We've been to some of those classes together, remember? I feel the same way about conventional sales training events. But this type of sales training is different. No lists of features and benefits. No endless decks of PowerPoint slides with fifty bullet points per slide. They have been replaced with case studies, video clips and other topics that the audience helped select. The presenter actually crowdsourced some of the training topics. Everyone stayed, and everyone stayed awake."
Joe listened with wide eyes. "I've never heard of such a thing...but it's exactly the type of sales training my team needs. What else is contained in "Sustainable Sales Growth?"
Mary said, "The third part seemed like a mistake the first time I heard it. They applied project management to sales. I thought they were out of their minds, until they showed us how it works."
"They turned the annual sales goal into the deliverable of a project. The deliverable is specific, it's easy to measure, and it has a due date: December 31st.
"Then, they created the milestone events along the way. Achieving them on time would be critical to achieving the annual sales goal by year-end. Each milestone had a deliverable, a due date and an accountable person."
"Finally, they created the individual activity steps that were needed to achieve each milestone. Each step has its own deliverable, due date and accountable person. Managing the entire project is easy. All you have to do is make sure each step is completed on time."
Joe asked, "How can you be sure it works?" Mary replied that each of the three components has already proven its value for several decades. Sustainable Sales Growth is about connecting the components in a natural manner, to achieve uncommon success.
Joe said, "I'll think about it."
Mary deployed the Sustainable Sales Growth program on the first of the year. Her team's January sales beat Joe's team soundly. Joe signed up for Sustainable Sales Growth in mid-February. His consultant helped him every step of the way. By mid-year, his monthly sales were higher than ever before. His sales reps seemed to be happier, too.
At the year-end celebration, Mary's team won first prize for sales volume. Joe's won second place. He was down by a month and half's sales volume...the difference in time between Mary's starting date and his. By mid-year, the Sustainable Sales Growth program had been rolled out company-wide. Phillips Software used the program year after year. Sales were higher, year after year.
What About You?
Are you Mary, the early adopter who achieves success earlier, or are you Joe, who adopts later and rushes to come up to speed?
The choice is yours.
To learn more about our Sustainable Sales Growth machine, Click Here for your copy of our white paper.