My career of almost 30 years, began in engineering and eventually transitioned into sales and sales leadership. For the past 14 years, prior to founding TMG, I was a leading global consulting partner for the company recognized, at the time, as the world’s leader in sales training.
My passion for selling and engineering led directly to my “aha!” moment:
First, a little background, I was in process of completing the facilitation of a 2-day sales training program designed to provide the customer with a “sales process” to win their important deals.
The culmination of the program occurs at the end of the second day, when teams report to the group what they have identified, over the previous 2-days, as their key steps to move their deal forward.
We had 5 teams with 5 individuals on each team. Long story short, each team reported out different best action plans.
That was my “aha” moment; it all hit me at once. The engineer in me said you did not teach a process; no effective process would allow for that level of variation in execution! No wonder companies continually invest in sales training every few years. Always chasing “The Next Shiny Thing.” Conventional sales training does not produce as promised.
Think of it this way, what if you brought your shipping department together for a 2-day shipping process training program. At the end of day two, you presented them with a product to ship and asked, “what are the next steps to ship this product?” How would you feel if everyone came back with different answers? Obviously, it simply wouldn’t be tolerated.
How have we come to not require the same level of adherence to process in sales as we do in other functional areas of the company? Most the time it’s simply because we didn’t know what we didn’t know. But, it doesn’t have to be this way!
We are a unique sales training company whose mission it is to replace conventional sales training. We are the new sales training paradigm.
“My vision is that every organization should have an easy to use, repeatable and measurable sales process that eliminates variation in execution. Additionally, they should expect the same level of adherence to that process as they do every other functional area within organization.”
David L. Varner
My “ah-ha” moment in sales came when I was challenged to bring on the next “Key Account” for my team at a private company. I began searching Linkedin for the all the contacts I would pursue, collected sales materials to use, and researched current customers we serviced in the same industry. Typical salesperson preparation, right?
The following week our Monday sales meeting began and I was immediately asked was: “Colin, how many phone calls did you make last week?” Then it hit me: our team has no sales process, nobody can coach me to my pursuits, and we’re focusing on the wrong things. Once Dave introduced me to Millau, it clicked instantly.
Tracking phone calls and activities needs to come after an organization implements a process. A sales process is the backbone of any sales organization. CRM and improving “selling skills” are influential, but you need to understand the elements of a complex sale that are always present. Salespeople are conscious of these elements, but not always considering them on each sale they pursue.
I've had the privilege of helping sales teams and their leaders succeed in selling through Millau’s Process. We're truly changing the vertical of "Sales Training." There's noise in the market right now...but I assure you everyone is treating the symptoms of their sales challenges.Colin Longren