I’ve done some informal interviews with heads of sales and presales recently and uncovered the following, rather consistent statements:
- Heads of sales and presales tell me that about 10% of their teams actually do Discovery very well. [Group 1]
- About 70% of their teams think they do Discovery well, but actually do not (in the eyes of their senior managers). [Group 2]
- The remaining 20% of their teams do realize that they don’t do Discovery well. [Group 3]
Interesting, and rather frightening gap that deserves additional thought – and action to address…! Looking at these three groups again:
- Group 1: These people are either consciously or unconsciously competent. Their knowledge and process steps need to be captured and taught to the balance of the team.
- Group 2: These people are unconsciously incompetent. This is extremely dangerous – they don’t know that they aren’t doing a good job. As a result, they don’t realize what they lack and aren’t willing to take time to learn.
- Group 3: These people are consciously incompetent. They recognize that they lack certain skills and knowledge and are (typically) interested or willing to learn.
A couple of ideas to close the gap:
1. Gather your best sales and presales people together (the Group 1 folks) for ½ a day and have them generate Discovery documents and the key process steps that they follow. Distribute to the balance of the field. Train managers and mentors to coach Discovery role-play sessions for their team members (first making sure that the managers and mentors can use the Discovery documents and execute the process steps well before they work with their teams!).
2. Hire a 3rd party to facilitate and teach the above (hint hint).