I regularly speak with emerging technology vendors with new solutions for improving sales execution. After hearing about their capabilities, problem statements, and value propositions, I assess the relative value of their offerings by questioning how it improves sales execution, starting with a very basic initial step. I take the perspective a sales user, asking one of these questions that I call the Monday Morning Litmus Test:
- Does the solution tell me what to do next with this account or deal?
- Does the application tell me something about my business that I did not already know?
The first question relates to process automation. For example, it may include a hypothetical, “It’s now 8AM Monday morning. I know have some open deals to complete, but over the weekend, I forgot most of the details about them. What do I do next?
The second question relates to decision making. A sales manager may ask, “It’s two months since the new product launch, but half of the team haven’t built enough opportunity pipeline yet. Which sales activities have been most successful so far for building late-stage pipeline? Which types of prospects should we stop calling?”
This test are important to me because any sales automation technology should meet a simple objective: it should remove some of the decision-making uncertainty or sales execution uncertainty that is inherent to B2B sales processes. If the solution passes the test, it has broadly applicable promise for improving sales execution. If the solution does not pass my test, I look for niche applicability that will apply to specific, but limited, use cases.
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