The Briefing Conundrum

I found out from train commuting salespeople recently of their popularity for the ‘daily briefing’ as curated by their preferred ‘newspaper’. As distinct from scrolling the homepage of say, a buzzfeed.

Having then been shown samples, I saw that they’re all (un)remarkably similar. A listing of news items their fake news of choice feel worthy of more than the simple google-style two lines. The most common treatment the day I viewed them was a block of text that perhaps purposely didn’t quite fill my phone screen which was independent of any of the couple-dozen full articles you could then click through to.

I felt a tinge of late 90s nostalgia. Remembering those early attempts at send-to-all email newsletters trumpeting the Sales wonders of our team. With names as unimaginative as Buzz. Before I recalled, despite noble intent, how inept such efforts were.

Immediately prior mass email adoption, there were their audio equivalents. Salesteams used global internal voice messaging systems. You’d often receive what today we’d term a podcast. The same type of semi-regular (usually unscripted) pulse and trend selling info sent to all and sundry, ideal to listen to as you drove between prospect visits.

Now that we’re more used to such screen-scroll delivery, I wondered if there’s a case for rebooting the old school sales newsletter?

Well, there’s certainly some grey areas to uncloud on this one.

The preface to recounting my experience has to be that many leaders of Sales operations are wary of sharing any inner secrets in a manner that can easily end up outside their organisation. To the extent that they often rely almost solely on verbal conversational transmission.

They also may well have seen previous tries at snapshot, state-of-nation style or intranet capture of current company affairs fall flat.

Centrally initiated endeavours in this realm seldom succeed. Yet grass roots ventures flounder too. What quota-focused seller wants to divert time towards anything that is not direct contact with their prospects?

Nevertheless, Sales Management must encompass ways to spread best-practice, refined key selling messages and superb live stories that all prospects must hear right now.

Tacking such onto existing tech spec or latest offer emails doesn’t quite work either.

The discipline of supplying an impactful monthly, weekly or even *gulp* daily sales briefing is considered so tough as to be close to career-stunting.

Maybe this paragraph treatment could work. Not 140 characters, but 140 words. Enough to get more than a headline across. In a way that could (could) encourage delivery in the cauldron of a call. All you’ve got to do is find someone to actually do it. And follow up on it. Month in, month out…

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