Over Thinking as a Blessing
One of my great faults is overthinking things. When I play golf, I may change my swing mid stroke based on a multitude of swing thoughts. If I’m planning for a meeting, I will have 3 plans set up in case the first two don’t work out the way I want. It’s a curse and it’s a blessing, all rolled up into a challenge in the way I think. While it’s a fault when I over analyze, the blessing is the ability to have a plan and adjust it in a proactive way.
I work with several clients to help them develop their sales team. I focus on process and development of plans for finding opportunities and executing on those opportunities. “Winging it” when making a sales call is just a waste of time for the seller and for the prospective customer. I’ve talked about this in earlier blog posts. “Winging it” when coaching sellers is just as big of wasted time and effort.
Let me start with saying that the first line sales manager is the key to success with sales. Unfortunately, they tend to get little training on how to coach sales or sales process. They mean well, and they do coach, but it tends to be reactive, not proactive. When was the last time coaching time was put on the calendar for a specific seller? Was the coaching measured for effectiveness?
I partner with Level Five Selling. What attracted me to their processes was a few things:
1. It’s based in deep research
2. It makes training an ongoing process, not an event that is soon forgotten
3. It focuses on bite-size, individualized training for the seller
4. It trains and supports first line managers with a well-developed process for coaching
5. It measures the impact through survey, margin, and revenue results
I started my practice with the idea of helping salespeople develop their skills and had become disappointed in the “training” industry. I knew there were strong training processes and they worked. I was disappointed in that training was largely an event, and the top sellers got it, and the rest did not. The return on investment was low. The miss for me was the lack of engagement with the first line managers. They were not being trained on how to coach sales.
A little over a year ago a good friend of mine reached out to me to introduce me to Level Five Selling. He just happened to be the CEO of the company. I resisted for a few months, but the more I studied and analyzed the processes for Level Five Selling and Coaching, the more I realized that this addressed the challenges I faced.
Yes, I overanalyzed the opportunity for helping salespeople and coaches develop using Level Five. But in this case, it was a blessing, not a curse. This is not a check the box solution. It’s focused on true development of the team.