Multiball can be dangerous
I broke my highest score on brick breaker last week.
It is a game I play on my blackberry. It is a bit like space invaders.
OK, I know you don't care about that. As a Sales Manager you should care about this.
There is a feature in brick breaker called Multiball. This kicks in from time to time.
Those of you that used to play pin ball might recall the same feature.
When Multiball occurs instead of only focusing on one ball you have 4 balls you need to watch. Initially it looks great and helps you score more points quicker than normal because 4 balls are in play.
Then because you are trying to watch 4 balls at once instead of one, guess what happens?
Correct. You lose all of them, normally quite quickly.
It is actually easier to score when you only have to watch one ball at a time.
A bit like batting well in cricket, one ball at a time. Maximum focus on each ball. That's all that matters.
Focus on your best opportunities
When I am playing Brickbreaker it's a great reminder for me about selling and how it is changing.
Old school Sales Management was simple. Get them seeing more customers more often and play the numbers game. Eventually someone will buy something. Another one gets you a step closer to another "yes".
New school of thought. Devote more effort and focus to the best opportunities you have. Lack of focus today is killing you and your sales team.
There are too many possible opportunities available.
There are also too many potential competitors pitching for the same bits of work.
How do you know which opportunities your team should pursue?
What does a good opportunity look like?
It depends. Try these criteria:
- They have purchased from you before
- There is a connection between you and the buyer
- The decision is rarely based on price
- You have personally met with the people involved in making the decision
- They have articulated dissatisfaction with their current provider
- When you met with them their nonverbal behaviour indicates they are telling the truth
- They have requested specific needs, which you understand, and tailoring to suit their requirements
- They understand what makes your offer different to your competitors
- They have indicated a timeline related to purchase with a sense of urgency to get things moving
- The buyer has a personal need you can fulfill
Why does your team spend so much time chasing down bad opportunities?
Salespeople by nature can be overly optimistic. Not always realistic. Every opportunity is looking pretty good!
Remember when you interviewed them for the job? Wow they were impressive.
If the largest portion of their income is based on a retainer, they will fill up their days with all kinds of low value activities.
If you want to sharpen their focus, pay them properly for bringing in good pieces of new business.
Reward them for the steps they are taking in getting closer to a "yes".
Be careful how you measure them. If you measure call rates that is all they will focus on.
Most reps need more opportunities in their funnel. Then they need the skill at working out which of these opportunities deserves maximum focus.
The best reps double their efforts with their best opportunities.
Why not get them to spend twice as much time on their best potential opportunities?
I have changed my strategy with the use of Multiball. Laser like focus on one ball only is leading to better results.