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Common Mistakes in Sales Management (Part 6): Confusing Communication Quantity with Quality

(This post originally appeared on LinkedIn)

“The quality of your communication determines the size of your result.”

Meir Ezra

A frequent demand I received from management was to “involve the wider team” in customer conversations without a clear purpose assuming that communication has a value by itself.

The truth is: it doesn’t.

Any communication into a customer organization must meet the highest bar in quality. It must have a purpose and complement the other conversations that are going on. Every conversation, even the most casual one, has a direct impact on the probability of being chosen by the customer.

And here is why.

The more significant a buying decision the higher up the power base on the customer side reaches. Most of the power base members a vendor will never meet in person because they trust the judgement of members owning the decision.

These members need to control the communication between their organization and the vendor to build consensus within the power base. The more communication channels the harder to control it and the bigger the probability of conflicting messages.

This is why power base members focus their conversations on a limited number of vendor representatives and hold these accountable for consistent messaging. Conflicting messages destroy trust and are perceived as lack of control and integrity.

The purpose of any communication into the customer organization must be to add to the risk/reward equation of our proposal. The more precise and purpose-driven our conversation the better the chances those power base members we do not have a direct conversation with receive our message correctly.

So, what should sales management do instead of pushing quantity? They must focus on pushing quality by helping identify those internal resources that can add value to the customer conversations. They must frequently assess the situation and assist in making adjustments where required. They must empower the account team to control number, frequency, purpose, and messaging of conversations.

Communication quality, not quantity builds trust. Trust lowers the risk perception of a buying decision and thus increases our probability of being endorsed by the power base driving the decision.

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