Salespeople: You Can See Them Coming A Mile Away
How a mindset change enabled me to close the largest deal ever in our market.
As a licensed engineer, business school and military academy graduate, nothing makes more sense to me than operating to a strategic plan, following or leading a process and using analytics to navigate through the ‘choppy water’. Because of this training and background, I thought sales was for people that wore expensive clothes, shiny shoes and folks you could see coming a mile away.
As my career progressed to President/COO roles, two worlds (operations and sales) merged. I immediately identified the ‘gap’ I needed to close to be successful as a General Manager and Corporate Developer (someone who increases a firm’s enterprise value). It was, “How do I use PVR (process variation reduction), in a new client acquisition or expansion process?”
In other words, “How do I use process to win multi-million dollar deals?"
I always knew that if I could apply my Six Sigma training and PVR, I would maximize operational efficiency and enhance results. But with sales, there was no process. It seemed loose - more about dinners, lunches or golf afternoons. I thought a sales plan consisted of attracting people with big networks who could get the first meeting. After that, the operations team takes over and using process maps, analytics, and case studies, shows how these same results would be delivered to the prospective client if they would just say “YES”. Which they didn’t most of the time.
Then I met Mike Jacoutot, Founder and Managing Partner of Butler Street Consulting. Mike, along with managing partner Mary Ann McLaughlin, opened my eyes to a sales and client development methodology that was so comprehensive and thorough, it excited me. Could I use my solid operations and process background coupled with a strong client management skill set to develop business and ultimately grow my organizations? After spending time listening to their unique business offering, I hired them to train the executive group on their sales methodology process and discipline.
For the next 30-45 days, I listened to what was/is “money ball for sales” as Mike would call it. At the highest level is a set of tools that drive a constant and tireless flow of reinforcing activity and deal discipline, all designed to answer questions that were centered around reducing variation. The crux of this was to work these deals with a small deal team. A team of demanding partners to each other to ensure full objectivity and balance in answering each question and leaving every session with a list of action items. By the end of the training, I was fascinated to try this methodology in my world. When an opportunity was introduced to me by a former client who was now with a large financial organization, I committed to putting this training to work. Over the next few months, with Mike Jacoutot as my demanding partner working with me as if I was a ‘plebe’, ‘cadet’ or ‘mug’ all over again, I remained disciplined to the method and techniques I was taught. The result… the closing of a multi-year large transformational deal with a marquis brand.
Today, I am the Chief Development Officer for a global company I have been with for five-plus months. Using the same process I learned a few years back from Butler Street, I have led an organization to follow our new sales process. The result: in five months we closed the largest BPO deal in our space.
My view on Salespeople today is that I am one, and we can wear whatever we want as we create jobs and grow the company. The way we do this is through discipline to follow a system of reinforcing activities, deploying tools to drive this activities, follow a methodology to stay true to our process and with a team of demanding partners you love working with!
Contact us to learn how Butler Street training and services can help you and your company grow!