My observations of the current landscape as it exists right now:
Lack of value creation; pushing products and services and solutions, with no real business acumen, behaving like commodities, and therefore being treated as such.
A complete reliance on subject matter experts to do any real discovery. Salespeople who lack the confidence to sell effectively and unable to hold the position of peer.
A lack of patience in developing opportunities, too few meetings, too few stakeholders, much too rushed.
No control of the process. Skipping necessary commitments, allowing the client to skip the steps necessary to make real change inside their organization.
A lack of good language choices, unable to engage in business conversations, no models to mimic.
An inability of salespeople to determine what work they need to do and when they need to do it, enabled by sales manager who are not directive or prescriptive enough, who are not saving people from themselves.
Role confusion around opportunity creation, opportunity capture, client services, and operations. Salespeople doing non-sales work and using it as an excuse for the lack of results. This is made worse for some, where sales roles have been sliced too thinly to make any sense.
SDRs who believe their role is to qualify, alienating prospects and creating no value. Companies who think BANT is still a thing.
An inability and/or unwillingness to hold salespeople accountable for results, especially around prospecting and opportunity creation.
A reliance on marketing for all lead generation. A desire to automate prospecting activity.
A lack of the fundamental disciplines of a sales organization, territory plans, pipeline meetings, opportunity reviews. No cadence.
An inability to coach salespeople to better performance. No methodology, no training, no skills.
An unwillingness to engage in internal conflict with other departments and leaders, and a resistance to dealing with non-performers.
Marketing content that is geared towards product and why us, and that doesn’t help the client understand the dissonance they are experiencing.
Leadership teams who struggle to choose and defend a business strategy, making concessions to gain market share in order to compensate for poor sales and marketing execution.
Purchasing maturing into true supply chain managers, asking their suppliers to reduce their costs in ways that don’t require them to offer price concessions. Looking for more strategic partners and being more concerned about execution.
Successful companies investing in new business offerings, new verticals, new markets. Investing in training and development, and the willingness to change, including players.
Successful companies planning their initiatives over longer periods of time, identifying capabilities that enable future capabilities, perpetually changing, but doing so very intentionally.
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Filed under: Sales