Selling systems and methodologies...
Updated: Sep 12, 2021
There are so many selling systems and methodologies out there, not to mention numerous books and podcasts on the subject, but to me they are definitely not the “end all; be all” of how to sell. They can help, sure and provide insight, but nearly all of them are based in third dimensional tactics of fear and manipulation; creating false senses of urgency to move things along to an end result.
To be fair, some of them provide a decent frame work on how to progress through a deal if you are a newbie to sales, you need to learn that structure to be successful, so gather it where you may, but if they become the mantra for the only way things can be done to be successful, I cry bullshit!
No one wants to be the one to tell the Emperor that he is wearing no clothes, especially if he paid a great deal of money for them, and people want to continue to receive their paychecks, but I take these corporate mandated trainings with a grain of salt. As I was once told by an old rancher, “the baler scoops everything up in to the bale; it's up to the horse to sort it out”.
If your experience has been anything like mine, you will quickly find that Execs, embrace these methodologies in an effort to increase sales and impress Wall Street. They then mandate their adoption, to the forfeiture of the individuality of the rep and their particular “style” of selling, unique unto themselves. There needs to be a way to merge the two, not make a bunch of “automatons” out of your sales force.
Moreover, it is the individual who has made his/her way successfully into the arena of sales and who has, by honing his/her own natural abilities managed to make a successful career out of sales (which is not easy). There needs to be a balance allowing structure and process, along with insight, intuition and the ability to “punt” when needed.
These Executive sponsored methodologies forced down from the Ivory Towers seldom allow for flexibility, ease and flow. Rather providing a containerized script for all deals that one only has to follow to be successful. They also quickly stifle and frustrate the intuitive rep who has been successful to this point by essentially “clipping his/her wings”.
No way is this gonna fly in the real world of sales and the last deal I closed was a perfect case in point for this argument. Yes I used a great deal of the most recent corporate training I was taught to report info to management, but when push came to shove and it was 7 PM on a Friday night and I was trying to get a $1M PO, those cheesy one-liners from the training were absolutely useless.
It was my own persistence, cool headedness, ingenuity, and personal relationships with partners, the customer, and coworkers, that got this deal across the line in the end.