Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein
I believe that the selling environment of B2B sales is quickly becoming too complex. Multiple conversations about the myriad methodology changes in the B2B selling space are creating a background of noise that is only complicating the challenges faced by already busy sales people.
If we just add to the complexity of the job, we make it unteachable and unscalable.
Not that all of the dialogue about insight, buyer facilitation, The Challenger Sale and other Big Ideas is wrong or not valuable. In fact, the Teach, Tailor, and Take Control reality behind Challenger is the best possible combination of methodologies. I know this from personal experience, leading our worldwide sales team through the third year of our Challenger journey and it continues to teach us more than we ever imagined.
But there is a point to the transition that is missed by nearly everyone in the New Sales Methodology business.
And that point is this: A shift in methodology on its own will not take root and grow and deliver the results you are looking for.
It will just become the program of the day in the life of the busy sales person. This has been the truth since the beginning of the business to business selling world. And today is no different. You will not make a new selling methodology shift stick on its own - you must first make a mindset shift.
We must first help sales people believe something new before they can become something new and have new outcomes.
My friend Hendre Coetzee says it this way BE… DO… HAVE… in that order. And in this case that means that we must first enable the salesperson to have a new mindset that gives them a new perspective on what they do and why they do it. If a salesperson comes at the job in the same old way with the same old beliefs they are going to be irrelevant very soon. The internet will see to it. Survival today requires both a mindset shift and a methodology shift. They must both be done and the mindset shift needs to take place first.
I have found that this starts with reframing the thinking about the main objective of the PERSON doing the selling. And it centers around purpose. Higher level purpose than income or revenue. To truly engage people to think differently you have to empower both the mind and the heart. Not surprisingly, the people involved in the selling world are all about heart! We are competitive souls working hard, and when asked why we love what we do, the most common answer is “I like helping people”. Don’t believe me? Ask your team.
So here is my view of how to reframe the thinking about why we “sell” and to start the mindset shift.
As sales people, our objective is to make a DIFFERENCE with the PEOPLE who we serve.
This is where we start. My next blog will cover each key word in that purpose statement and show how this simplifies life and how we then have conversations that matter.