Don’t jump the Gun!
Mathew was in conversation with the Training Manager of a Software organisation – just yesterday they had visited the Business Development Department to understand the specific training needs of the employees there. Mathew’s Consultancy had been called in to help the Business Development team revamp their Sales Management process.
During the visit a few employees were interviewed to understand:
- How the team members worked at present
- The gaps in the Business Development process
- Their Sales Output and productivity
The Business Development Manager was interviewed to understand the gaps in performance of the team and what changes he expected in them post the training. He was in desperate of new ideas to get the team back on track – they were way behind on the targets set for the year.
Mathew was speaking with the Training Manager after compiling the findings – he had even created the program flow for the training he was going to conduct. As soon as they got into the call he enthusiastically started spelling out what he proposed to do – the content of each module and the different activities that he thought would help to reinforce the messages.
The Training Manager was taken aback – as far as he was concerned it was too soon to have such a discussion. He said – “Wow! Mathew, slow down my friend. Aren’t you way ahead of where we should be now?”
It was Mathew’s turn to be surprised – “I don’t understand! We have spoken with the target group and their Manager and taken stock of the situation – isn’t it time to deliver the training?”
The Training Manager said – “Sure! We have interviewed the role-holders and their leader and got a fair bit of information on their current mode of operations and performance data. But that isn’t conclusive. We need to get to the root cause of the problem and understand in greater detail how the best results can be achieved from this training intervention.”
“I propose the following:
- You come over tomorrow with the findings of the interviews, the list of concerns and gaps as you see it and how you propose to deal with it.
- I will make a list of deliverables and expectations from our side.
- We will have a joint meeting with the CSMO, Business Head, H.R. Manager.”
The Training Manager continued – “During that meeting we will be able to confirm with the leadership that the concerns and gaps as understood by us are the right ones – and they will get a chance to express their views. We will also run the team through the proposed solution and get their inputs on the changes needed, if any. When that’s done we are closer to execution of the Training Program, but not before that.”
Mathew backed-off – he realized that it would be foolhardy to press for a close now. The Training Manager wanted to take the key decision-makers into confidence and implement a solution that is best suited for the organisation. It made sense.
You are wasting bullets if any attempt is made to fire at the target when it’s beyond range; get closer before any attempt is made. Sales is a process and the experts would tell you that if each step in the process is executed the right way the prospect will ask for the solution even before the Salesperson ask for the order. It pays to wait for the quarry to walk into range!
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