The CEO of a medium-size gas-production company sought to grow sales and increase the value of the company. Once his company reached a target revenue, he planned on selling it
After evaluating the company’s sales force, we noticed that the salespeople were not calling on all the potential influencers and decision-makers. We also discovered that the sales folks were not asking enough of the right questions.
Due to this flawed sales process, the resulting deals were much smaller and more difficult to close than necessary. The company had given sales responsibility to these operations folks, and they didn’t feel like they had the right to talk to executives.
We helped the salespeople identify all stakeholders related to a deal and determine what information they needed to uncover. Then we started weekly coaching calls with the sales team to help develop some sales muscle. Each coaching call involved a combination of skills training, situational analysis, and mental conditioning.
The sales folks not only closed more deals but also closed larger deals. Within seven months, they closed enough deals to double the company’s size and enabled the CEO to sell the company for a healthy multiple.
The Common Mistake
Rule: If you change the way a person thinks, you will change the way they perform. In this case study, the problem was the sales team’s discomfort in speaking with executives because felt they were not entitled to talk to them.
This type of self-sabotage mindset comes in many different flavors. We see it when salespeople fail to ask good business questions, fail to find value or discuss price, exhibit a strong need to be liked, insist on showing the whole 100-slide PowerPoint – the list goes on and on. The real trick is to determine who can adapt quickly and who never will.