Many more businesses and executive members of the management team are waking up to the need to fully embrace the world of digital selling and employee advocacy. More and more organisations are encouraging their marketing and sales teams to become social.
To share and create content to become thought leaders. To look ahead to engage and build relationships with the buyers as early as possible in their buying cycle. They acknowledge that the sooner they engage with a prospect the better for business.
However when it comes to end of quarter many quickly revert to type and pressurise the sales teams to close all the near term business. This can often result in lower margins and even damage the future business relationship with the customer.
Many years ago I was fortunate to attend an advanced driving course and despite the tens of thousands of miles I’ve spent driving over the years, (touch wood), I have not had a serious road accident.
One of the learning points that has really stuck with me through the years is the need to ‘Read the Road’. As a driver you need to look far beyond the front of your vehicle and look towards the ‘Vanishing Point’ in the road.
The ‘Vanishing Point’ is where, as you look into the distant corner, the two sides of the road appear to meet. If you keep looking towards this point you’re looking far enough ahead to drive smoothly and see any problems early. If you also notice whether this point is moving towards you or away, you have a crucial indication of what the corner is doing next.
It’s been my experience that far too many drivers only look as far as the end of their car and are often surprised by events that are taking place farther down the road.
Some Tips To Improve Your Driving:
- Constantly search the road ahead for changing conditions. Scan the road near and far.
- Become an expert at spotting hazards such as mud on the road, loose chippings, inspection covers, pot holes, worn and shiny tarmac, painted surfaces, diesel spills, animals etc.
- Pay attention to road markings and signage which will warn you of changes in the road ahead.
- Plan ahead when approaching junctions.
All of this theory however can only be applied with practice. These driving skills require a change of behaviour, which takes time. Don’t try this alone and seek the support of the right training provider who can help you. Many advanced driving schools exist around the world who can help you master these skills.
How Does This Apply To Today’s Sales World?
As a sales manager or senior member of the management team, how far down the road are you looking? Do you spend your time looking as far as the end of the month/ quarter or do you spend some of your time looking as far down the road as you can see?
Are you often forced to focus on the what’s right in front of you? Do you often need to close all the near term opportunities and often fail to look far enough ahead to anticipate the hazards and the seize the opportunities?
Just like when you’re driving, just focusing on the near term will not help you in the long run. You need to learn to balance what’s here and now, with what’s further out. Make sure your vanishing point is as far in the distance as possible.
Some Tips To Improve Your Sales:
- Constantly search the market ahead for changing conditions. Scan the market near and far.
- Become an expert at spotting hazards such as changing technologies, industry changes, team dynamics, employee advocacy, social media, digital selling, etc.
- Pay attention to trends and data points which will warn you of changes in the road ahead.
- Plan ahead when approaching junctions in your career.
All of this theory however can only be applied with practice. Don’t try this alone and seek the support of the right training provider. Seek the support of organisation who are not just focused on yesterday’s mindset, but seek out those who are forward thinking.
The ‘vanishing point’ on the road is a well proven technique used to minimise any surprises on the road. What ongoing training and support are you offering your sales team to broaden their horizons? How do you ensure they are growing business relationships, building influence, creating opportunities and checking you’re not careering into danger?