Everyone has priorities and challenges, and leaders have more than their share to overcome. So how do leaders create the right balance to make progress today? Many believe that they can only control what they control. This may mean cleaning out their inbox and doing randomized activities based on demand that doesn’t necessarily have a clear purpose. As a salesperson today, you must learn to cut through the noise and make people notice something. You do that by focusing on possibilities.
IT decision-makers recognize the key to success today is focusing BOTH on what they control and what matters most for their internal and external customers. Unfortunately, the latter has become more difficult today because of the often-hidden roadblocks that create barriers to prioritization and execution. It feels like many prospects are in “survival mode.” That makes them unwilling to explore something new. So you have to figure out how to help them see that something new is possible.
How do you help prospects spend their precious time figuring out how they do something different to get better results?
Help Prospects Find the Right Balance
To help prospects find the balance between strategy and tactics, think through the business impact they are trying to drive. Then, think through the level of effort involved with accomplishing that business impact.
When you do that and learn over time, you will likely know that our prospects are often reactive. They have very little time to be proactive. What if you helped them be more aggressive? To think things through? To get ahead of challenges? What would that look like?
As a rule of thumb, prospects probably spend 80% of their time reacting and 20% on innovating. What do you think they are innovating on, and how can you help? How can you help them respond faster?
Help Prospects Balance Trade-Offs
What is your prospect’s workload? Everything they do likely involves ongoing programs, projects driving specific results, and tasks that form part of the projects or initiatives. They’re probably working 50-60 hours a week. On what? Do you know how many programs, projects, and tasks they are likely working on now? Hare they dividing their time between them? What about the team they lead
When you think about it, you won’t be able to know “exactly.” However, you can make assumptions. Think about our company. What do WE struggle with? What do our leaders have challenges with? What do you need to be successful? What do your leaders need help with?
Most prospects must define their priorities in advance, and tradeoffs will almost certainly come up. The tradeoff of doing nothing vs. changing something. The tradeoff between taking action now or waiting.
And often, your prospect will have to decide what they will NOT do (because they don’t have the understanding or the capacity.
Your prospects can deprioritize activities that are based on being reactive and spend more time on optimization and innovating, but this might not always seem feasible. However, that’s why they’re in a leadership role! They must make the best decision that balances these tradeoffs and have confidence in that decision. Salespeople (like you) can help them see what decisions to make.
Think about this. Your prospects will also provide visibility to the rest of your team, their peers, and their leadership. They will have to communicate a LOT about everything that’s happening. They’re required to give certain people visibility into the things they don’t have the time to do or the ability to see.
They make tradeoffs between what is possible and what is impossible. Your job is to help them SEE WHAT IS POSSIBLE in their challenging environment.
How can you help your prospects with the tradeoffs they need to make, the decisions they need to make, and the steps they need to take?
Help Your Prospects Be Successful
To help you along the journey of helping your prospects SEE WHAT’S POSSIBLE, they will have to figure out the right tasks and initiatives to begin to influence. As a salesperson, you will have to help them try, and you will have to help them take action.
Without action or the desire for action, you won’t be able to help your prospects see what’s possible. Without that, you cannot create an opportunity to help them be successful. Without that, you cannot explain how Your Company can help them be successful.
Putting it into action
- How can you influence a meeting they are about to have?
- How do you help them figure s out?
- How do you help them prepare for meetings where they will discuss upcoming initiatives?
- How will you help them communicate internally?
There are many more ways to help if you can get outside your own needs and find ways to serve them.
It’s also helpful to reflect on what they need to do to protect their time — especially since their current time allocation looks different than their ideal time allocation. That means what they WANT to do, isn’t what they are doing. How can you help them with that?