Professional Hunger Games - Fighting

The Hunger Games is the #1 movie in US box offices with $155 Million dollars. I haven’t seen the movie but I have read the book and I couldn’t help but think about how the Hunger Games can be applied to business environments. No one should expect camouflage training a cornucopia of weapons and supplies when they start their job but their should be some training and  tools provided.

The Hunger Games in Sales

The mentality of hiring a bunch of sales people and leaving it to them to sink or swim is barbaric. Your company will not benefit in the long run if that’s how you approach driving revenue. There are career sales people (Tributes) that have been trained for years that you will have to go up against and to compete, you need training. Great sales leaders understand that in order to build a winning sales team you need to invest in them and teach them everything there is to know. Not just about the product or service but advanced selling skills that give them an edge over the rest of the sales people they are in competition with. Even if  someone is interested in what you are offering, they are extremet busy and there is a good chance you don’t even know they are a prospect if you’re not actively listening. 70% of the buying process is happening online and in order to stay ahead, sales people need to move faster and use better tools.

One that comes to mind is training from Vorsight around how to navigate company switchboards turning the switchboard into a prospect’s direct contact info. I’ve seen them train on this on numerous occasions and I have to say that it works.  There has been a shift in the sales environment as described in this post called Sales 2.0 Redux. In the post Tom explains many of the typical sales tactics and how they have been reshaped by social media and technology.

Being the Tribute Winner in Sales

Just like in the Hunger Games, only one person can win. Your prospect needs a solution to a problem and probably only enough budget to purchase one. Instead of being on the losing side of the deal, you need to have a starategy that will deliver some key messages and position you to have an advantage.

Leverage connections: Just like the Hunger Games, you will need sponsors. Who do you know that can provide support to you when working with the opportunity? Chances are you should have identified a champion in the organisation that can help you navigate and give you insights on what’s happening. Hopefully you have a connection that also knows your decision maker on a personal level since we know that these types of connections are very important and helpful.

Have the right tools: I don’t just mean your phone and your computer but those are important too. How can you use technology to do most of the research for you? Set up watchlists on your prospects, find them on social networks that can give you insights to what they are thinking and feeling. Leveraging social media for sales can accelerate the ordinary sales process. Sales intelligence gives you information that will keep you positioned to win.

Surprisingly there are still a large number of companies that do not leverage sales intelligence. The Aberdeen study on the Science of Sales Intelligence shows that most companies deal with some very specific business pressures that sales intelligence can help with.

  • 42% have insufficient knowledge of the business needs of prospects
  • 40% do not have the ability to identify the most likely buyers of their product
  • 34% complain of having a sales process that is too long
  • 21% See an increased customer churn forcing them to focus on filling the funnel

All of these point to companies needing to be more nimble and enabling their sales teams to move faster with more targeted information.

The Hunger Games as a concept seems to fit with a sales organization. Are you going to win?

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