How to ignite high performance selling with deep customer-centricity, collaboration and learning
A time of change and possibility
We live in times of unprecedented change and volatility where the future looks more ambiguous and uncertain than ever before. As we begin to emerge from a global pandemic, leaders from across industries are taking this opportunity to reimagine a different kind of future, a future where human connection, creativity and learning become the driving forces that enable organizations to grow and thrive in a world of change and complexity.
Leaders recognize that the consequences of inaction are simply too great. To thrive, their organizations must be capable of adapting and evolving with changing customer demands. They see first-hand how traditional sales methods are failing to deliver for both customers and employees and as pressure grows, there is a renewed sense of urgency to find better ways to empower teams to connect, create and win. They want to enable a future where all stakeholders can grow and succeed together.
In this article. I will introduce a new model for performance and shared success called Deep Performance Selling. I’ll talk about why the time is right for change and I’ll introduce the 3 pillars upon which Deep Performance Selling is built: Deep Customer Centricity, Deep Collaboration, and Deep Learning. I’ve also included some links to additional resources to help you start your journey to Deep.
3 compelling reasons for change right now
- Customers expect more
As customers strive to reignite growth their expectations are higher than ever. They’re demanding a new kind of relationship with vendors, a relationship where vendors provide ongoing insights that challenges the status quo and drives the innovation needed to stay ahead, and they want help gathering functional requirements and building consensus across key stakeholders. It’s a complex and ever-changing landscape that today’s sales teams must be capable of navigating if they are to stand a chance of winning. However, when we look at organization design and team alignment, we can see that most B2B teams are simply not set-up to engage and deliver value in this way. The majority of customer facing revenue teams still operate in silos with limited opportunity for proactive customer-centered collaboration. As customer expectations continue to rise, organizations that continue to focus on sales efficiency over customer experience (CX) and value creation, will find it increasingly difficult to compete.
- Performance under pressure
There’s an accepted reality in B2B sales that 80% of revenue generally comes from about 20% of the high performers. Over the years, we’ve seen large investments in sales transformation initiatives, new CRMs and advanced learning platforms as leaders strive to even-out performance across teams, but stubbornly this performance conundrum has persisted and today, we see a growing performance crisis in B2B sales. 57% of sellers consistently miss quota and in some industries win rates are now as low as 15%. Incredibly more than 40% of all opportunities stagnate as teams struggle to meet customer expectations and build consensus for their products and services. With little priority given to reflection and win/loss analysis, teams are left perplexed – wondering where it went wrong.To compound the performance challenge, most leaders double-down on productivity, increasing the pressure on teams to do more of the same, rather than focusing on initiatives that build team selling capabilities. Although teams often rise to the challenge, performance gains tend to be modest and temporary. It’s an endless mantra of harder work, not smarter work, as team frustration grows with ineffective sales methods and outdated ways of performance management. In this challenging climate disillusionment soon sets-in. The attrition rate in sales is running at a high of 34%. It’s a perfect storm of dissatisfied customers, frustrated sellers and leadership running out of performance management ideas.
- A growing need for better work experiences
The turbulent events of the last year have made us reflect on the central importance of connection in our lives. We have seen just how fragile our world really is and we have learnt that when we come together, we can overcome almost any adversity. As a result, many are reevaluating the purpose and meaning of work. There is a growing sense that the experience of work can and should be better. People want work to play a meaningful and fulfilling role in their lives.Rather than the traditional top-down command structures with a focus on productivity and efficiency, salespeople are seeking a more human-centered approach where they can grow and evolve together, where there is trust and autonomy to take control of their performance and deliver for their customers. Promoting the importance of teamwork, co-creativity, and customer experience (CX) is becoming more important as organizations realize their contribution to strategic long-term goals. In this future world, team members contributions are recognized, people are motivated by trust and collaboration and learning is embedded into the organizational behaviors as a strategic enabler of growth.
The momentum for reinvention and change is with us
It seems we are at a point where the need and opportunity for transformational change are converging. In a recent survey, 86% of customers said they are willing to pay a premium of up to 18% for a good customer experience. Solution providers are responding – 46% have made CX their priority for the next 5 years. They recognize the urgent need to elevate buying experiences and turn value delivery into a key differentiator for their businesses. More and more leaders are taking the initiative to redesign sales processes to enable deeper team collaboration, so that teams may create the value and insight’s customers now expect to receive as standard.
As leaders begin this transformation, it’s important to reflect and learn from the mistakes of past transformation programs. More than 73% of all business transformation initiatives fail to deliver lasting change. Often programs are complex to implement, difficult to scale and don’t deliver the expected long-term gains. As a result, many leaders have lost faith in their ability to deliver meaningful change. However, when we look to understand why programs fail, we find there are 3 common mistakes: a lack of shared vision where teams work independently to drive change; an inward focus on performance gains through cost-cutting and productivity initiatives that deliver short-term results; failure to set learning paths matched to performance aspirations in order to follow through on transformation initiatives.
To overcome these challenges and deliver lasting transformational change, we need a new sales performance model that’s designed for today’s complex customer-led world. We need a transformational model that unifies strategy, performance and learning to deliver last change and performance improvement, where autonomy, purpose and meaning are united, and teams are empowered to take control of their own performance. We need a sales performance model where all stakeholders can grow, evolve and share in success. We call this new model – Deep Performance Selling.
3 Pillars to Deep Performance Selling
Deep Performance Selling occurs when we leverage the power of Deep Customer Centricity, Deep Collaboration, and Deep Learning together. It provides a new model for sustainable transformation and high performance selling that can only be achieved when all three are enabled and synchronized within organizations. It resolves fragmented approaches into a unified whole system approach and elevates key interdependencies critical to sustainable high performance. It provides a new model for sales agility and responsiveness fit for today’s complex and ambiguous world.