Sharing is the first step of collaboration, receiving is a natural follow-up. Collaboration leads to receiving more than the sum of the given pieces. Across industries, peer-to-peer networks, communities and the sharing economy are based on this collaborative principle – you have to give to get.
For us at the MHI Research Institute, giving begins with sharing the highlights from our 2014 MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study. The year before, our research identified three attributes of World-Class Sales Organizations, each corresponding to a cultural component that drives the behaviors and attitudes of the organization. Building on the three organizational attributes – Customer Core, Collaborative Culture and Calibrated Success – as defined in the 2013 study, the analysis of the 2014 data identifies three categories of sales behaviors that define World-Class Sales Performance – Provide Perspective, Conscious Collaboration and Performance Accountability. Connecting those individual behaviors with the attributes of World-Class Sales Organizations creates a framework for a performance-oriented sales culture. A culture that knows how to connect and engage with customers, how to work together and what to measure, recognize and reward.
Provide Perspective is the next level of connecting and engaging with prospects and customers. The engagement and messaging principle is a pure customer core approach. It’s based on the customers’ situational context and the different concepts of each impacted stakeholder. Then, it takes into account that especially in complex buying environments, every customer makes every decision differently. This specific decision dynamic has to be well understood, before the sales team can map all these findings to the own portfolio of capabilities, products and services. Configuring a solution through the lens of the customer’s context, their concepts and their specific decision dynamic is the prerequisite to come up with a specific, customized solution that enables the customer to achieve their desired results and wins.
Conscious Collaboration begins with the customers. The purpose of collaboration is to achieve better results in a shorter amount of time. It allows individuals with different areas of expertise and roles to work together through a common language and strategic frameworks. Collaboration connects teams, organizations and companies. Collaboration frameworks are an approach to multiply individual contributions. Collaboration objectives are different for a strategic account environment compared to an inside sales team. Therefore, collaboration has to be defined specifically and that’s a sales leadership task. Sales leaders must establish guiding principles for different collaboration situations to create the foundation for conscious collaboration.
Performance Accountability is the metric that separates world class from all others. World-class sales performers hold themselves accountable for their customers’ success. They know that the customers’ success is the foundation of their own success. World-class sales performers hold themselves accountable along the entire customer’s journey. There is no walking away after a deal is closed. Instead, performance accountability means to identify even more possibilities to create add-on value for customers. Performance accountability means also to be accountable to the standards and expectations set by the front line sales managers.
From giving to receiving – this is where we ask you for your help!
The 2015 MHI Sales Best Practices Study is now open until the end of November. We kindly ask you to take some time to take our survey. The Sales Best Practices Study is the world’s largest survey for complex B2B sales, covering all regions, different industries and different roles in sales – now conducted in the 12th year.
What you can expect from the study as a participant:
- Timely business intelligence—exclusive, first access to the full study results when they’re published in Q1 2015
- A complimentary report from the MHI Research Institute, Perspectives on Productivity: The Next Level of Transparency
- Entry into a drawing for a World-Class Sales Performance Gap Analysis—an opportunity to take advantage of a service provided by the Institute’s research analysts that compares the participant’s organizational behaviors to those of World-Class Sales Performers as identified in this study