- · Are we in or out?
- · Does anyone at the Account know they are going to buy?
- · Can you show me one shred of evidence that their decision criteria reflects our offering?
- · Who in the account wants us?
- · Can you just give me one name of someone out there that likes us?
Those questions ring in my ears today just as they did 26 years ago.
A lot has changed in sales as we have migrated from a Seller Centric environment to today’s Buyer Centric world.
A lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same.
I was at the “Age of Infinite Wisdom” as I called it, 34 years old, full of quick answers, yes to everything, I was a Mile wide and inch deep in all my accounts.
I bragged that I had 10 years of Sales Experience.
What I quickly learned, at the Start up that I had just joined that was destined to become one of the first software only companies to a billion dollars in revenue, was that I had one year of experience, repeated 10 times!
I was constantly looking at things the way I wanted them to be not the way they were.
That was until my “Sea Gull Manager”, that is what I used to call him, showed up:
You know the type of manager who would:
- · Fly in Screeching and Gawking over your desk,
- · Pecking at everything,
- · Poking holes in all your Opportunities, Strategies and Tactics
· Then before flying out of the room and relieving himself all over your office in general and specifically targeting your forecast -
The last words from the “Seagull” of course were always something like:
- · You better get that Done Number up,
- · What do we have to do to hit the Stretch Goal and
- · You better not miss the Commit.
Believe it or not I started to like this guy.
For the first time in my career I had someone looking for the TRUTH in all my opportunities. He would actually help me create a Real Forecast rather than my usual “Hope-Cast”.
Yes it was tough answering all kinds of embarrassing and truth revealing questions.
However it taught an aging salesman that if he wanted to remain relevant then he would have to :
- · Look in the Mirror for answers not out the Window.
It was MY Forecast and I had to own it.
He enabled me to understand that the quality of the forecast was reflected in the Quality of the questions I asked myself and eventually my Customers.
Little did I know we were on the way to defining MEDDIC which has organically become one of the Best Qualifications systems available to anyone who has the courage to use it.
In future Blogs maybe we’ll discuss what the Steady Diet of ground glass and rusty razor blades can do to toughen up a Sales rep who had a propensity to wear Rose Colored Glasses and Happy Ears.