The best part of my day-job (after knowing someone’s buying from me to make their lot a happier one!) is that I get to speak to sales people about what they do and how they think. Wednesday saw an introduction to a Welshman called Martin, seeking how his ten-strong team could work outside the box to create and manage opportunities better than the nine other major players in his industry.
Several ways of thinking cropped up in our discussions, I’ll first isolate one new angle on understanding what’s going on that he uses, which he called his sales wheel of influence. Imagine you’re in front of a flip chart or a blank piece of paper. Draw a circle in the middle. This is the hub of the wheel. In it goes the personal name of the Decision Maker, Economic Buyer, or whatever syntax you use to describe the “M-A-N”.
Then out from the hub, draw the spokes. As many as there are people who can influence the cash provider, order signer. So as an example, in a circle in the middle goes the name of the CEO, and he has 5 influencers, so you draw 5 spokes with the names of the guys in the roles of top accountant, operations guy, janitor, and so on.
So now you have a circle with a name in, and five lines from it all with names at the end. What you have to be able to do is document everything you’ve asked them to do, and they’ve asked you for, next to their names.
It’s in understanding the relevance and outcome of such requests that’ll determine what more needs to be done to secure success.