More than half of this year is now behind us, and I am evaluating my performance according to the sales objectives I set myself at the beginning of January. We all dream about reaching our target as early as possible but our B2B clients never want us to have it till Christmas Eve. Before it is too late, shall we think about how to improve our sales performance?
If you put sales in a mathematical formula, you find it as simple as Quantity x Amount x Success Rate. Theoretically, you can program how many annual sales you want by getting enough leads, targeting type of deal and sharpening your skills. In the reality, we may not always have quality leads within territories developed even you have all needed skills. Why is the real business world different? This is because we cannot predict the future.
Apply entrepreneurial spirit to the process
In many big corporations, people follow the process of planning, evaluating and correcting. We set up goals, plans, and actions. We first define the most profitable market and then find an optimal way to achieve it. Therefore, time to market is shorter. As far as we are following this method, we can control every step and measure the progress. This is so-called “Causal Logic”, which means the connection between two events and one can bring out the other event.
However, I believe that every successful salesperson should have an entrepreneurial spirit. This spirit implies that you try to create value and start a business with the resources you have. You look at who you are (purpose and passion), what you know (knowledge and skill) and the network you have (family and friends). You don’t focus on only one optimal way. Instead, you look for different possible outcomes and may modify your original goal with new opportunities. This is so-called “Effectual Logic”, which has been introduced the first time by Saras Sarasvathy in 2001. Many entrepreneurs start with what they have at the moment without a goal defined clearly. And they usually vary their ideas during the project development.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
We human beings love to control our future. But, it could be much better if we focus on how we can create the future we want. I am not saying that you should not set your goals, on the contrary, it is very important to set your goals in the beginning. (I recommend you to read my post: My New Year’s Resolution as a Salesperson, I share three pieces of advice to set your goals efficiently.) My point of view is that a good business person should be more effectual to increase the success possibility. If there is a business opportunity but you don’t have a solution, just make one or find a partner with a suitable product. Even if there is no business opportunity yet, you just create a business by addressing values out there. Through being more effectual, you see more possible outcomes which increase the possibility to win. Furthermore, it helps create the right conditions that lead to success.
Be effectual to improve sales
A successful salesperson knows how to be effectual to improve sales performance. I would like to share three effective ways:
- Adapt to the uncertainty
Every customer has its own need. If they want your product as a Service, give them service. If they want only part of your solution, be flexible and break it down to an acceptable level. The world is changing so fast and the way to embrace surprises is to adapt to it.
- Find a partnership
Here are some scenarios you may encounter. You need someone to introduce you to that new market then you need an agent. Your customers require local services then you need a service provider. You don’t have a total solution so you need to form a partnership with another company as well. An old proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
- Create the future
Effectual sales know how to provide market insights to customers. We give consultancy and guidance to help create a better future. Besides, we offer possibilities to develop together products with customers as well. Effectual people transform opportunities into a promising future.
Effectual logic has been always applied by entrepreneurs to create most of the startups. They evaluate their own resource, background, knowledge, and network to build paths to many possible ventures. A successful salesperson should not only be goal oriented but also be effectual. By leveraging both advantages of causal and effectual thinking, we can eventually increase our own business success. Let’s embrace Entrepreneurial Spirit in our sales process!
Tell me which effectual practice you use in your business! Please write your comments below to help everyone! Don´t forget to follow us if you want to check my coming posts!
POST WRITTEN BY
A strategic business development professional with +15 years proven business track record in Telecommunication and IT. She is experienced in managing key accounts and developing international business opportunities through building effective project teams. With a natural love of new ventures, this results in her ability to take risks and opportunities each time. Then her unique insights from cultural integration will definitely boom your business to the next level in this new era of globalization.
Life is a journey, only you can decide how to embrace it!