You don’t understand, we’re different

rantEver have a customer tell you some version of, “You don’t understand, we’re different?” You respond, I’m sure, with some version of, “Of course, your organization is unique, that’s why I would like to understand more about how you handle the XYZ issue here.”

What you really want to say (and which is accurate!) is, “Oh, bull%&@$”

Shocking as it may seem, many sales managers and professionals tell me that the metrics produced by a Sales Process Engineering effort don’t apply to their company or their territory because they’re “different.”

  • The number of opportunities in my funnel vs. the number of opportunities in some other territory’s funnel is not relevant because I’m different
  • The total $ value of opportunities in my funnel vs. the total $ value of opportunities in some other territory’s funnel is not relevant because I’m different
  • The sell cycle time in my territory vs. the┬ásell cycle time in some other territory is not relevant because I’m different
  • The close rate of opportunities in my territory vs. the close rate in some other territory is not relevant because I’m different

You know what? All four of the above statements are bull%&@$

Frankly, if somebody else can juggle more opportunities simultaneously than I can, I want to know how they do it. If somebody else can manage a funnel with a great $ value than mine, I want to know how they do it. If somebody else has a shorter sell cycle than me, I want to know how they do it. If somebody else has a higher close rate, I want to know how they do it.

I don’t care if they’re in a different state or different company or different industry or if they’re more or less experienced than me or have weaker or stronger support resources or whatever. I want to know! I’ve got to know! I must learn!

So don’t tell me you’re different. Don’t let your customer or boss or subordinate tell you they’re different. They are unique! …just like everybody else.

Leave a Reply