Late 2011, early 2012 I helped one solution sales team refine their pitch.
The boss told me that client storytelling in front of prospects was thin on the ground.
I asked each in turn to regale me. Wax lyrical about their favourite tale of customer success. Deliver a snappy story about where and how we’d made someone’s life better.
The longest was an eyelid-sapping 7 minutes 14 seconds long.
As people of my age might say in England, Jacka-bleedin-nory.
At the time, the person concerned immediately put their hands up to acknowledge the state of what they’d just done. Namely, that the audience after were not much wiser as to why we’d been winners.
So the good news was that we had something upon which to build.
A top technique I like to share I blogged on a couple of years back, as found – astoundingly – from the world of HR. Easy to remember too, as it’s four elements’ capital letters spell out the mnemonic ‘star’.
A trio of stand-out areas for improvement nearly always occur during such an exercise. Even for the most accomplished of sales vets.
Salespeople seem prone to slip into a ‘they said, we said, they said, we said’ routine. The to-and-fros the deal went through take precedence over what the plan turned out to be.
The core issue (or if you prefer, problem) that needed addressing rarely gets explicitly spelled out.
The end has little impact. In extreme cases there’s an uncomfortable energy drain towards rambling nothingness.
All of these can be fixed, and the lucky thing is, just twenty minutes can kickstart the change required.