Selling is not at root, despite what web-searches will tell you, about process. It is about people and relationships and trust. We are in most cases far, far past the point of significant value-add by linking systems. And in getting there, we have run roughshod over the value-add by human connections.In a comment, Tom "Bald Dog" Varjan (www.di-squad.com) says:
Like any important issue, you will find people with varying views and impressions -- and I think in many cases everyone will be right.
In my experience, sales managers love managing by numbers because it's easy. It's a lot easier to tweak numbers than creating an energised culture in which salespeople are naturally inspired to improve both the quality and the quantity of their relationships that, in time, can lead to high-calibre client relationships.
To create such a culture is the hard part. A culture that attracts such people while keeping the others out.
But I believe this also requires the adjustment of the compensation system. Personally I believe that the commission structure is adversarial to the client’s interest. We must be able to enter a discussion with a prospect with a total detachment from “getting the deal”. A well-thought No must be an accepted answer. Sadly, in traditional sales, it’s a sign of failure. It’s even taught at sales programmes: Either you win by selling the prospect or the prospect wins by not buying. It’s a win-lose scenario which is wrong.
I believe that trust from prospects significantly increases when they realise that we’re not going for the deal but participating in a decision process.