In the era of telecommunications, when telecommunications was dominated by fixed lines, one of the most important strategies was the "last mile". (In fact, most conversations about net neutrality the last mile.)
The "last mile" was more figurative than literal, but it focused on who controlled access to the home or the business. Regardless of the service provider who had this "last mile" relationship, he really controlled most of the customer's revenue opportunities.
There is a similar concept in sales. When we examine several of our sales empowerment strategies, it seems that the goal is to provide all the answers to the seller, for every situation in which he finds himself. We script them, we are very prescriptive of what they do in each situation.
But more and more, our people are struggling in their conversations with customers, this last mile, where every individual, every organization, every situation is unique.
We can not give our employees all the answers to face all the situations they face. We can get them most of the time with training, tools, content, scripts, but there will always be this last mile.
Ironically, it is the most critical part of the customer engagement process. It's the ability to engage every individual, in every organization, for every situation, in a meaningful, impactful and differentiated way. It is in these unique encounters that we create our greatest value and differentiation.
It's the way we engage these clients, helping them navigate their process, but each process is unique, so we must be agile enough to adapt what we do, how we engage with the customer and his buying group.
These are the last mile moments that occur each day for each seller.
But what are we doing to equip our people to face these last moments? We can not write them, we can provide content that "magically" allows the seller to deliver what he needs.
Giving our employees the ability to understand what to do, how to manage each of these unique situations is essential to our growth and success. Curiosity, problem solving, active listening, critical thinking are all skills that contribute to the seller's ability to navigate successfully in the last mile.
What do your sales managers and managers do to equip sellers to win the last mile?