Is Sales an “Art” or a “Science”?
There is no general answer that applies to all organizations as it depends…..it depends on your team’s demonstrated competency in marketing. (Believe it or not)
An “Art “implies creativity as well as varietability and” science“is about process, method and constantly assessing and experimenting with process, and managing the process.
A number of clients over the years have stated their needs as; “I need you to create a repeatable sales process for our team”. However, in most cases they lacked a clear understanding of their market, buyers, buyer needs, probelms, and the buying process. They wanted me to study their “sales super star” and replicate them throughout their team. However sales processes built from the inside out produce marginal sales increases and often increase the gap between your team’s “sales speak” and “the buying process”. What you need to do is create Sales Velocity.
So what sould teams desiring to be market leaders to do?
I was asked to speak at a conference recently for business owners and their senior teams. Prior to my presentation, I reached out to the organization’s members and asked;
“In the areas of marketing and sales what topic would you like me to discuss?”
I could have discussed a number of topics, but I wanted to provide their members the maximum return based on their needs. I was interested to see if the recent and current economic environment in any way changed what I typically here when I ask this question.
The responses varied from;
How do we get our salespeople to sell new products?
How do we motivate our salespeople to focus on opening new accounts?
What is the best way to measure the ROI of marketing?
How do we align sales and marketing to reduce waste and increase productivity?
What is the best marketing vehicle to drive sales now? Quickly?
What is my take on “social media” and it’s ROI?
How can I be assured my next investment in a new product launch meets goal ?
I felt I could speak for a week and not do justice to all the questions independently, so I grouped the responses into two buckets;
What is marketing and how can it impact sales in a way that produces the greatest overall return?
How do we create a repeatable sales process that works, has an immediate and long term impact?
I shared my findings with the event coordinator to insure the direction I was taking would serve his association and his goals. He shared that the two topics I chose were like thorns in the side of his membership as they keep bubbling to the top of discussions. So I asked questions to better understand past discussions and he shared two comments his owners and senior leaders shared in private;
“Our salespeople are just not working hard enough, I know times are tough, but for what I pay them they need to sell through those objections”
“I think a large % of our overall marketing spend is a waste, fluff, and does not provide the return any other expenditure would be required to produce.”
So I decided to open this presentation with a question for the room;
Is Sales an Art or a science?
Before I share where this discussion went….
What do you think?
Is sales in your organization an Art or Science? Why?
If you could pick Art or Science, what would you prefer sales to be in your organization? Why?
I will share in my next post the results I observed and any feedback and comments on this post. I will also share the desired state and my answer to this question.