“You got to make sure that you’re continually orienting people towards what good looks like.” – Lisa Palmer in today’s Tip 580
How about you? What is True North to you?
Join the conversation below and share your thoughts!
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today I’ve got another clip for you from my conversation with Lisa Palmer in episode 100 of the Sales Success Stories podcast that we released earlier this week. If you’re in Enterprise sales or sell to publicly traded companies, this really is a must-listen. Here’s just a taste:
Lisa Palmer: In these situations, you have so many players at the table. So you’re not just talking about managing the customer’s environment and managing your internal issues. You’re also managing all of the other partners or vendors that are involved in this situation. You are managing the, in many cases fears and politics of course are often based in fear. You’re managing that across dozens, literally dozens of individuals who are in very unique to them situations.
So as far as how I manage that it’s really important that I step back and I think about every player that is involved their organization and how do we help one another to win. And when I say win I mean that we need to be moving in a direction that always serves the client. And I firmly believe that if you get everybody in your ecosystem clear about how the client is successful and you get everybody pointed at what I call true north. This is what good looks like. This is what success looks like. And you got everybody bought into that.
The reality of it is that each player in that situation starts out with a disparate view of what good looks like. And it’s really critical that you onboard everybody to some common picture of what success looks like and that you keep bringing people back to center when they get off, what they start to get off track and you reorient people to what good looks like. And as the sale progresses you have to adjust and as each of you learns and you get new barriers introduced into the environment and you become more aware of details that you weren’t aware of before etc.
You got to make sure that you’re continually orienting people towards what good lo>oks like and what that means is that you have to have some really frank conversations about situations where you are going to have to give a little bit and another partner is going to get a little bit more because that’s really what’s best for the client. And those are conversations that you have to be brave enough to host and transparent enough to really get to get to the heart of how you motivate people to do what’s right for the client. And sometimes that means that my team going to get a little bit less than somebody else’s team is gonna get a little bit more. And I have to be OK with that because that’s what’s best for the client.
Scott Ingram: I think you started to outline some pieces of this but I’m really interested in this idea of true north. How are you working to establish that? Define that? Get an agreement around that? What’s your process there?
Lisa Palmer: So to me True North is about making sure that every effort that we work on with a client is directly impacting one of their corporate objectives. So what I found to be shockingly disturbing when I was in my role with Gartner is how many executives never listen to their own earnings calls. And so one of the first things that we would always counsel our executive clients to do is make sure you’re listening to your earnings calls because your CEO and your COO and your CFO or going out to the market and telling them what is going to be happening where they’re focused? What’s absolutely critical to your success et cetera? What happens for many of these individuals particularly at you know it happens in the C Suite but definitely the level and two levels below that they are spending so much time focused on operationally keeping the organization moving forward that they don’t pay attention to those things that are truly strategic.
And so when I think about True North. I make sure that the entire team is and when I say entire team I’m talking about making sure that you get your critical partners embedded in this process with you that you understand what corporate objective it is that you are committing to help that client to impact and that you are constantly iterating on your process to make sure that if anybody starts to go a little wayward that you get them pointed back at True North. And if you do that based on what those corporate objectives are whether it’s it could be market share. It could be people management. It could be cost controls or profitability. If you want to look at it that way. But there are some corporate objectives that every organization has to be focused on for the long term health and well-being of their company. And so that to me is true north. Get everybody oriented in that direction get really clear about how you’re going to impact their stated objectives and then make sure that you are iterating in your communications to keep everyone moving towards that goal. And particularly since we’re technologists there can be a real tendency to go down Bunny trails because this is really cool and we could do this and this is really shiny and the reality is, is that a lot of those things you could do aren’t going to have an immediate and direct impact on those corporate objectives. And so you’ve got to keep people it’s a little bit like herding cats. But you’ve got to get them pointed and focused on that true north.
Scott Ingram: For the rest of this interview, just click over to Top1.fm/100. There’s so much there, the feedback has been absolutely tremendous. It’s definitely worth your time. Yes, all two hours. Go dig into that interview with Lisa Palmer and then come on back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!