Battle readiness is a checklist before the full and final commitment of resources on a Sales Opportunity.
· Understand the competitive terrain
· Know your relative strengths and weaknesses
· Position Resources at principle points
R, A, G.
· Occupy high ground
R, A, G
· Prepare a focus of strength for acquisition of terrain
R, A, G
· Joint operations Sales, Service and Marketing
R, A, G
We have great Tacticians like Sun Tzu,
“know yourself, know your competitor,
know the terrain and then choose the battlefield”
and Dr. Frederick W. Lanchester who believed that
“the Quantity and Quality of military forces
determine the outcome of battles.”
“Battle Ready” in Sales is the Final Opportunity Plan.
- How are we going to win this deal?
- Who does what?
- Use all your resources
- How can we coordinate efforts to create a “Focus of Strength”?
(Homer used the term Phalanx to differentiate the formation-based combat
from the individual duels so often found in his poems.)
Who sets Battle Ready?
In my view, (IMHO) this is a Sales Management function; it is ‘Strategos’, the Greek word for General.
This is NOT about taking over the opportunity; it is the natural outcome of a Key Account Review or
a Major Opportunity Review. The Sales Manager, by Directive Questioning, uncovers battle-readiness then through questions and suggestions the Sales Manager improves the Final Opportunity Plan. The Account Manager continues to own the opportunity, although the Sales Manager should consider the appropriateness of the Sales Person against the difficulty of the opportunity.
Do they have the competence and motivation to win the deal?
- Battle-readiness should be rehearsed in Sales Simulations to both train and develop sales people.
- Account Managers should not be allowed to make ‘fatal mistakes to learn from’ in live accounts!
In Selling, you can take the WAR metaphor to far;
TAS uses the expression ENEMY to describe a ‘BUYER with a preference for your Competitor’.
TAS calls for a strategy of ‘neutralizing’ the enemy.
This is wrong and it is a confusing “mixed message.”
Nobody in our
Client’s Firm is our enemy.
The Competition is a ‘peer Firm in our Marketplace’, they are my opponents in the Sales Game NOT my enemy.
Whoever plays the Sales Game best, with skill and best use of resources, wins.
I can only lose to better players.
Our ONLY enemy in selling is ourselves.
- When we do not plan, or when we fail to use resources available to us, then we invite failure
- When we do not do the work to produce, then execute the best Opportunity Plan possible we invite failure.
To go to Battle not ready, without a plan,
is to seek defeat and pray for success.