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Episode · 7 years ago
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Episode · 7 years ago
Sales Curmudgeon - Time, Scope and Resources
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Hello, I'm Rachel Clab Miller and I'm the director of digital engagement at force management, a growth play company. Thank you for downloading this podcast on sales transformation. It's the fourth and final in our series with our very own sales curmudget. Why does your name have three words, Rachel? Anyway, last time we talked about betting on the wrong horse. For those of you who still care, today we're talking about another reason your sales initiative will probably fail. You try to jam ten pounds of stuff into a five pound bag. Ten pounds of stuff, five pound bag. What do you mean by that? Here's the setting. The sales team is busting behind end to hit the year in number. You're trying desperately the outrun attrition and your personal life is a train wreck. Then one day you wake up into the manic apex of your bipolar world and announced a five day global sales kick off in Vegas or...
...perhaps Orlando. Your target dat is still a month away, plenty of time to crank out in agend and book travel for several hundred people. So you assemble your directs to sell your vision, ignoring the sick look on their faces. You reassure them that this is a priority and that you will clear your calendar to make it work. And then a squirrel runs by and you take flight. And then what happens? Well, your peeps huddled together, scared and alone to operationalise your madness. The result is predictable. A half baked sales kick off that barely comes together and his chalk full of speeches, award ceremonies, product Demos, barbels and sales training. This is the only time the whole team gets together, so you have to shove everything in there. Twelve hour days. Sorry, no choice. Sorry. Also about the weekend travel. No Choice, they're either. That doesn't sound so bad. Well, maybe not in your fantasy world, Rachel, but there's two fatal flaws...
...here. Not Enough time to get it right and too much stuff. The first guy ever worked for in the civilian world was a mega partnered price water house. He's not around anymore, but he lives on in an important lesson of project management that has served me well over the years. He borrowed it down to three words scope, time, resources. You need to to get the third. If you fix the scope and resources, you'll know the time required. Lock the scope in timeline and you end up with a resource load. Makes Sense. Yeah, but at some point you can't just throw bodies at the problem. Nine women can have a baby in a month. I just had a baby. What's his name? Never Mind, I don't care. And Way, you need to respect the three dimensions of SCOPE, time, resources, or you'll take a hit on the hidden fourth dimension, quality, or, as we used to say in the army, mud plus dirt equals more mud. You need to drain the swamp before you can pave it.
You lost me there. Yeah, okay, look, a classic mistake that sales leaders make in planning for sales kickoff is that they don't appreciate the critical path of activities required to actually pull it off. So they end up cutting corners and pulling it out at the last minute, which kills the impact of the event and it sets a bad example. My advice here temper your bold vision with the advice of operatives who know how to execute. Listen to your implementers, assuming they're competent of course. Ask them about scope, time and resources. If they just look at you, get new implementers and cancel the SKO. You mentioned a second fatal flaw earlier Oh yeah, the second fatal flaw is too much information into little time. Twelve hour days of nonstop power points boring and hardly memorable. People learn in small bites, not big...
...gulps. It's better to limit the scope of what you roll and then reinforce it over time through your chain of command. Again, listen to your handlers. They all know how much is too much. Sometimes you are your worst enemy. You wait too long to care about something, which creates a goat Rodeo for everyone else. A great idea is only great if you have it in time to execute. Well, care about things sooner. Think about those who do your bidding. So how big is your bag? If it's only five pounds, then that's the limit of what you can shove in. Otherwise you'd make a big mess when it bursts, a mess that others wind up cleaning. Speaking of bursting, I hope I didn't burst anyone's fragile ego with this podcast series. Actually, I take that back. I hope I did. I hope I made you think about all the land mines that are out there, many of which you set yourself, either consciously or unconsciously. Hear...
...me, people, most of your wounds are self inflicted. Hope you're okay with me holding up the mirror. If not, I'm good with that too. I've made a nice living cleaning up other people's messes. That's why I'm the sales curmudgeon, and he is real talk from the sales cormudgeon. If you like his approach, be short to download this series, the complete series on itunes and download the Sales Commusson ebook that you can find on our blog home page. Thank you for listening.
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