The Dire Issue Of Sales BiasTroy Kirby 2017-04-03
Sales bias is a wasteful practice that affects us all. It occurs when professionals message on the wrong platforms to seek out customers. It generates nothing but white noise on dead media channels. And it creates negative environments of prospecting, simply because no one hears the message at all.
The suffering of sales bias is an affliction created by when you were trained as a sales professional. It is a time-stamping of your skills, if you choose not to continually update and enhance them. It is no different than any other advertising marketing campaign. Everything gets stale when it is continually recycled.
The issue with sales bias is that we don’t view it the same way we do an old advertising campaign. But yet, it yields similar dire revenue results.
In sales prospecting, most sales people hold a bias, or favoritism, for a mechanism of sales that they were trained on. In the 1980s, a new sales person was built on the idea of direct mail or phone book sales techniques. In the 1990s, a new sales person would have been trained on a telemarketing or inside sales technique which meant slamming the phones for 100-calls-per day.
Look at the trends of how people were originally trained when they entered the field, and that will be the trends that they tend to advocate for now, decades later, insisting that they still work efficiently.
A key facet in all of this discussion is for the sales person to understand that they are not the person buying the product, therefore the delivery system for those interested in purchasing has likely changed. As all things change. However, many sales people, who should otherwise be repositioning themselves as technology and distribution channels change, don’t. Specifically because despite components and mechanisms generating sales tastes and interests altering, the sales person becomes resistant to their own sales technique modifications as they get older.
Because it is harder to change. Plus, it is scary when you are unsure of what will work, compared to knowing what has worked in the past.
But sales success does not come from merely sitting still. It does not come from focusing on the way that you personally used to respond to sales initiatives and applying that method to others today. That is merely prospecting bias.
This conversation is no different from our marketing friends, who sometimes spend their dollars on old mediums, merely because that’s how they used to consume their messaging. Terrestrial radio and television continues to get massive amounts of advertising dollars, despite more consumers leaving the mediums. Meaning that there are fewer people left to digest the content, let alone the advertising messages. Yet, the reason that advertising revenue continues to flow to these mediums is simple: despite their own technological age being nearly bygone, the ad buyer is still a consumer of their medium. Therefore, that ad buyer still thinks that other consumers are similar to them, and still responding on those channels.
It is a simple case of the ad buyer placing their own feelings above the prospective customer’s, and why so many sales initiatives fail.
It is easier to see in advertising on technological platforms, but less so when it comes to the sales staff themselves, in how they choose to perform, as well as how they choose to prospect.
It’s simply a matter of sales prospecting bias. Whether that’s pounding a million landline phones with calls or blanket advertising on a radio station. The consumers have mostly moved past these technologies. It should be time for the sales staff to do so as well.