In my early days I clearly remember learning that my job as a salesperson was to “dig holes” by identifying the many problems my prospective client faced. And to keep digging until those holes (problems) became so deep (big) my despairing client felt so overwhelmed and fearful they would want to grab my solution as a metaphorical ladder to help them clamber out of their dark damp pit of despair.
If you’ve been following the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry you’ll have picked up on the recent spate of banking executives lamenting their shift to a “sales culture”. It seems that sales and selling has been identified as the root cause of all that ails our leading banking and financial services brands.
How complete is your sales success system? When we ask that question of most sales leaders and sales learning and development professionals, we’re usually met with a quizzical look followed by an explanation of adopting best-in-class sales process, methods, content or the latest selling fad. A pretty standard response to a purposely ambiguous question. Sometimes the response is “what do you mean how complete is our sales success system?” Good question, let’s explore it.
Given the current spotlight the Royal Commission is shining on poor behaviours and toxic cultures in the financial services industry here in Australia, we would be justified in thinking that banks and purpose are mutually exclusive. So we started to look further afield to see if we could find an example of a bank that did actually have purpose, and could demonstrate it.
Following a wonderful presentation by Re Strategist, Alistair Stephenson, I couldn’t help but see many common challenges that were occupying the creators of brand identities and those that were facing sales professionals and the organisations they work for. Chief amongst them being the search for “Purpose”.
Unfortunately a huge amount of time and energy is wasted during the prospecting phase of the sales process. Too many eager sellers are randomly smiling and dialing. Do they really think clients are sitting by the telephone excitedly waiting for calls from salespeople to hear them pitch their products or services?