Can you remember the last time you went on a boat ride? A lot of us have some great memories out on the water. And we all know that when the boat leaves the harbor it must go slowly at first so it doesn't run into anything. This is a necessary step so it can speed up later. I really enjoy the part when the boat gets moving faster, but I understand that you need to take it slowly at first.
If you believe in what you sell, you should be motivated to move the sales process along as fast as you can, for your benefit and for the benefit of the customer. However, in sales, like in boating, you need to slow it down, to rev it up!
I was reminded of this truth recently by a success that a client of ours had using our TargetDrive concept. The sales manager at this operation observed that they were rushing the process, trying to rev it up too soon. This was causing them to lose sales, make small sales, or make the kind of sale that ensured they would not get another order from that customer. He decided to run a tactic to draw attention to this problem, but he didn't want to slow things down too much—he does have budgets to hit you know! He chose to run a 12-week TargetDrive, which resulted in $1.4 Million in new business, a significant amount of revenue for this business unit.
If you decide to use this tactic, note that the three keys to a TargetDrive are time frame, process, and number of accounts:
1. Time frame: Select a long enough period so salespeople don't have to rush the process as they build tailored client solutions, but don't make it so long that they slow the process down too much. We generally recommend 8-12 weeks, but you need to determine what is right for your operation.
2. Process: Be sure to have your sellers focus on using a sales process that will demonstrate how their tailored solution can help the prospect, not why their product is the perfect choice. You want to do this so they sell the right solution, for big dollars, creating the foundation to make future sales. If you don't get this part right, you could end up just generating a lot of small sales, most that will not come back for future business. Not the goal of a TargetDrive.
3. Number of Accounts: Salespeople can only focus on following a quality process with so many prospects at one time. We suggest somewhere from 6-10 prospects initially, knowing that 3-4 will likely get to the bottom of the sales funnel and 1 or 2 will close.