Leonardo Da Vinci would have been a great salesperson. Though already a successful artist, Da Vinci wanted to take his artistic understanding of human form to a higher level, so he began to study the human body at a hospital in Florence. Many, many dissections later, he had compiled over 200 pages worth of anatomical diagrams and research.
Da Vinci understood that to master his craft, he needed to balance his ability to draw, sculpt and paint the human form with a scientific understanding of how the human body is put together. Similarly, salespeople have to balance their “artistic abilities” - delivering a presentation, writing an email, closing the sale - with the science of their trade.
In sales, the science lies in the administrative details. You have to become ace at managing your schedule, contacts, activities and the opportunity itself. All of these details combined are then multiplied by however large your pipeline needs to be in order to hit your quota. The art comes later, building atop this basic, logistical foundation. Without a calendaring system, you’re likely to miss that meeting and never get a chance to show off your creative presentation skills. So the science comes first, and the artistry second.
Unfortunately, though, salespeople aren’t rushing to build their scientific foundation. A company’s Customer Relationships Management database (CRM) is sales’ modern day equivalent of Da Vinci’s dissection table. In theory, Salesforce, Sugar and their counterparts should afford each salesperson the opportunity to
- research their target,
- learn who makes decisions for the prospect,
- follow how they are being pursued and
- strategize how best to pitch the product to the target.
This is only possible if the salespeople themselves have contributed to the CRM. They need to enter meeting notes, appointments, next action dates and other relevant information into the CRM for its benefits to become apparent.
But instead of focusing on numbers and databases, salespeople spend their time focused on the fifth draft of their sales presentation. Their very DNA makes salespeople horrible data clerks. Your salespeople are good at building relationships and closing the sale – not at logging in and switching fields in an electronic database.
Da Vinci has been described by his contemporaries and historians as a Renaissance Man. He was obviously a pretty rare individual. Your team may have one or two salespeople who can strike that unique balance of performance and process, but the majority of your team is likely more performance-leaning in their interest and aptitude.
At Prialto, we think the best solution is not to change your salespeople, but to give them a study partner for their science homework. Our productivity assistants take over scheduling, lead research, appointment confirmations and even prospecting for the salespeople we work with. By doing this, we streamline the CRM system and make it far more helpful to salespeople who are actually looking to the numbers to glean useful information for their art. It encourages them to use the science without needing to create it themselves. The result? A boost in their productivity or, as they might prefer, a sales masterpiece.