Should Reps Be Allowed to Exercise Judgment?

Should Reps Be Allowed to Exercise Judgment?:

from The Sales Challenger™ 
PageBanner-four-applesIn our previous posts we talked about how the world of sales is changing, both what confronts the sales rep, but also what is at stake if we don’t take active steps to change the way we think about what we do. The theme that ties the two is the importance of rep judgment.
In previous sales eras the sales process reduced the number of decisions required by any single individual rep. For safety and scale we worked hard to streamline variability and make a sale as efficient as possible. But today the burden is higher; reps no longer are simply selling a product or solution, they are attempting to change behavior. This raises the bar and increases the need for reps to exercise judgment at a number of places across a sale. Consider these two examples:

  • Opportunity Selection: Sales reps used to rely on Marketing to find and qualify leads to make sure their time was being well spent. But our research shows that high performers do more of their own due diligence and work as micro-marketers to find and qualify their own leads. This requires assessment of prospects behavior, understanding of the market and the internal dynamics at a prospect company. This requires a much higher level of judgment than simply following an already-qualified lead.
  • Consensus Building: Finding Mobilizers who can help move a sale forward takes careful assessment to know which stakeholders will be helpful in information gathering, and who can actually help a deal progress. Discernment of internal politics, which players are likely to block progress and ways to resolve tension are also often situational and subject to change.
A rep’s ability to be agile, and to navigate the changing terrains of today’s commercial world often spells the difference between success and failure. Enabling reps to exercise judgment, and supporting them to develop the competencies necessary for good judgment is incredibly important to the health of the organization.
CEB Sales Members: learn more about the new sales culture and the changing demands on reps to drive winning sales behaviors at one of our upcoming Executive Retreat or Regional Briefing sessions, or hear manager strategies for greater judgment in our upcoming webinar:  Managing in the Insight Selling Era.

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