Back in the days of the Roman Empire the warriors would prepare to go to battle by placing on their armor, gathering their weapons, and most importantly carry their shields. Their shields were obviously a tool to protect them in hand-to-hand combat, but also for arrows shot from far distances where they often did not see the opponent who fired them.
Shields originally were made of wood wrapped tightly with animal hides. Some enemies however understood that shooting flaming arrows into opponents troupes long before hand-to-hand combat was a strong tactic as the outcome was often the destruction of the opponent’s shields. Without a shield the warrior was at a significant disadvantage in combat, and more likely to fall to random arrows fired from afar.
Experienced warriors would wet their shields prior to battle in anticipation of the flaming arrows. In today’s economy, salespeople are now receiving a number of flaming arrows that were not a part of the sales process in prior years.
· Longer sales cycles
· More people involved in the buying decision
· Need to have a stronger ROI to support the purchase
· Higher level executives within the customer’s team now must approve purchases
· Headcount reductions , so buyers are busier and more difficult to reach
· The internet, buyers now Google for solutions instead of calling their sales rep
My challenge is what are you doing to help your sales warriors go to battle in this marketplace? Have you created new sales tools to help them “wet their shields” before battle? Some of your competitors may even be equipping their teams with metal shields that not only defend against flaming arrows but also are much more efficient in the day to day hand-to –hand engagements.
The reality of today is just hoping the flaming arrows do not connect is not a strategy for success.
What new tools has your team created to help your salespeople win?
Have you identified the flaming arrows being shot at your sales team today?
Do you plan to use this time to move to more efficient tools and processes?