This is the first of a two-part series. Read Part II here.
Last month we witnessed a painful (but far too familiar) sight.
We were working with a company that prides itself on its nearly Six Sigma business processes. As we walked the halls, we saw grown men and women hunched over conference tables, surrounded by paper and the screen shot of an Excel spread sheet, filling out forms. They were suffering through their mind-numbing, semi-annual exercise of account planning. And afterwards, the plans would be filed away, forgotten and unused for at least another six months.
In most companies, account strategy development is a futile exercise of documentation and proposal creation. It’s a stale process that calls for little inspiration – in fact, it stifles the creative process so important to developing real customer solutions. Account planning should include real innovation to bring our account strategies to life, increase our team’s creativity, and improve our close rates. The idea is to challenge a sales team’s thinking and then leverage their creative and quantitative sides to develop solutions that differentiate the company from competitors.
Creativity is key here, but it’s important to understand the difference between artistic creativity for the purpose of expression, and functional creativity for the purpose of solving a problem. We’re not prancing around with finger paints to find our inner Picassos. We’re solving a sales problem. Focus your sales team on problem solving. With the right process, the right creativity will emerge.
To learn more, visit SalesGlobe or email firstname.lastname@example.org.