Most sales processes and sales methodologies could be improved by adding big, bold text around the edges saying, “Here there be dragons!” Maybe even add a little graphic of a dragon bleeding through the paper.
In times long past, mapmakers would put the words “Here there be dragons” at the edges of the map where the known world ended and the unknown began. The known world was dangerous enough, but the unknown world was horrifyingly dangerous. The unknown world was for the bravest, most resourceful, and craziest of all people.
Your sales process and your sales methodologies are maps. They lay out the territory, as it is known anyway. But your sales process or methodology doesn’t include what you don’t know. And what you don’t know can be dangerous, unexpected, and deal breaking.
When You Pass Through the Unexplored
Your sales process doesn’t say anything about how to get your deal back on track after the stakeholder with whom you have cultivated a relationship—and built a solution over two year—leaves the company two days before you present your solution.
Your sales methodology doesn’t prescribe a course of action when you share your new insight with your dream client only to have their subject matter expert shred your analysis in front of the buying committee.
There isn’t a good map for where you go when you have received the green light and a purchase order from your dream client only to have them table your solution due to budget cuts.
Here there be dragons!
Following your maps can be difficult. But the uncharted territories can be even more challenging. This doesn’t mean that the maps aren’t useful. Your sales process and your sales methodologies are extremely valuable. But they aren’t enough by themselves.
What is enough when dealing with dragons?
You need to remember that you are the captain of the ship. You are the explorer. It’s your job to deal with the unexpected and find a way when there is no map, no guidance. You have to bring your best self to the endeavor, especially the part of you that is your initiative, your resourcefulness, and your courage to act in the face of the unknown.
Here there be dragons! Don’t try to sail around them. Sail straight into them, and find a way.
Why isn’t the map the terrain?
What isn’t on your sales process map? What isn’t included in your sales methodology?
How do you deal with the unknown and unexpected you encounter when pursuing deals?
How do you deal with the dangers that lurk in the unknown?
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Filed under: Sales 3.0