I don’t care what business you are in or plan to launch there will be unforeseen roadblocks. There is a direct correlation to the effectiveness and thoroughness of your marketing prior to launch and the number of roadblocks your team will face after launch. If you intimately understand your market prior to launch your roadblocks will be few and often easy to overcome. If you launched on brash Hubris and gut…well get ready for a number of roadblocks and possible detours. While your team is plowing ahead, you as the leader can add the most value by becoming a “Reductionist”.
So you have launched your new product or service and your team is marching, attempting to execute the strategic plan and yet they keep facing roadblocks, unforeseen obstacles that are inhibiting sales. As the leader you have the ability to see, from 45,000 feet what is occurring and help shape and even change the plan. You see roadblocks that may feel unique to one salesman across your entire team and you can prioritize them based on impact to your bottom line.
I had a wise mentor named Hugh tell me once…” ya know Mark there are three kinds of information; Good, Bad, and none, leaders understand the difference and quickly gather what they need to make decisions that have the most impact” In one of my very first posts, I put it another way as well;
“Market Leaders Know what they know and they know what they don’t know.”
One of the steps in my last post about trying to “manage fruit ripe” was; “Help your team identify common roadblocks and help create sales tools to help them break through them.” I am a big advocate of focusing on your gifts as apposed to your personal short comings. Too much time is wasted trying to make people gifted at selling also become “strategic market planners”. Luckily entrepreneurs by nature are gifted at creative problem solving so use your gift to help your team.
I often hear entrepreneurial leaders comment in frustration…” why can’t Bill see that the real road block is……and not …..?” Here’s why…
Your salesman Bill is focused on goal achievement (what you pay him to do). To Bill his market is defined by his last sales call. You however have the ability to review data from all your salespeople, customers, non customers, and potential customers to better shape a strategy that will add value to your bottom line.
You must look at the current sales process and seek out roadblocks, places where the process of the sale stalls, or what I often call…” goes dark”.
Once you identify these common stalls or sale loss points you must prioritize them and build sales tools to help your team keep the sales conversation flowing. This will do two things at a minimum;
First, it will improve your inquiry to lead to sale ratio.
Second, by understanding how your buyers buy and providing them the perfect tool at the perfect time, you show you know them.
Buyers like to buy from people who listen and understand their problems.
Help your sales team break through the common roadblocks and you are on your way to improved results and overall morale.
If you chose to instead say things like;
“You need to overcome that objection”
“I can’t believe you could not sell through that…”
Or every salesperson’s favorite…
“I don’t pay you to bring me problems I pay you to bring me orders…just make it happen”
If this is your leadership, then you are not positioning your team or your company to be the dominant leader in your market.
Find out quickly what you know and gather what you need to know.
Take that information and boil it down, become a reductionist for your team.
Create strategies and tactics based on market truth.
Constantly assess, test, and modify until you consistently overcome the roadblocks in the way of achieving your sales objectives.
So how about your organization…does you have leaders good at being reductionists?