Imagine if there was no order. No procedures, no systems, no processes and no checks and balances. Chaos!? More than likely. People would be playing by their own rules and would be unpredictable at best. Without systems and processes we would be flying by the seat of our pants, with no clue as to what's going to happen next or how to figure out when things go wrong. Being in the business of professional development, I find myself relating business teams to sports teams quite often. Both are dynamic groups of people working together to achieve a common goal. The Washington Redskins opened up training camp this summer in Richmond, Virginia (RGIII In the house!). Picture the Redskins taking the practice field (or game field) without a plan of attack: no order and no offensive or defensive playbook. For the most part, it would be a waste of time, money and resources. Wasted effort. Amateurish. However, they are professionals. They have specific behaviors and activities timed down to the second when they're on that field. They have a walk through practice before practice to make sure their time, effort and resources are used productively. The coaching staff trains their team in a systematic approach and reinforces it to develop the behaviors they need to be successful in the roles they will execute. A clear path to success is defined and they are held accountable for the responsibilities and behaviors asked of them. Why is it any different for sales and business professionals? Is your sales team taking the field with a systematic approach? Do they have a clear path to navigate and effectively communicate throughout the sales process? Is there a defined methodology to efficiently qualify (or disqualify) prospects? If not, it may be time to pull out the flip charts and dry erase boards to start game planning.
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