Working My Sales Process More Simply with Some Inspiration from HGTV

Working My Sales Process More Simply with Some Inspiration from HGTV
September 12, 2011

I would like to say that I don’t watch a lot of television.  It’s not that I watch a lot of programming; I watch every episode of a few shows - who doesn’t love the “Real Housewives” series (at least one) as a guilty pleasure?  But, last night I was watching the latest episode of Design Star on HGTV.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s a show where designers participate in an elimination game to be the last standing with their own show on HGTV.  The first few episodes are mostly full of politics and personality conflicts but as the series progresses, it becomes more and more about design and talent. 


So, I am watching the latest episode where 3 people (2 men and 1 woman) are competing for the finale.  They are tasked with decorating an entire house - a tiny house - 86 square feet- modeled after the movement of “living simply” with limited impact on the environment. And without wasting a square foot they must include a bathroom, kitchen area, sleeping area, and living area. Whoa…. I am not a spatially creative person (which is why I sell software and don’t design spaces) but this challenge seems particularly daunting.  As the designers had 30 minutes to sketch and scope out their plans, one of the designers was really focusing on items that could be used for multiple purposes.  A small ottoman with a tray on top that can be used as a table or for seating, dining counter that can be used as an office area (with office supplies hidden in cubbies built into the framing), and a water pitcher that doubles as a vase. 


All this got me thinking about living simply at home, sure, but also about working more simply as well. I recently incorporated a new sales technique into my sales process - sending a “meeting pre” Brainshark presentation, even for just a first call. These are customized but are based on a standard template. If I only have to create 2 new slides for each new call, I can limit the amount of time spent on each, and scale the activity efficiently while effectively using the technique.  Moreover, these same slides form the basis for other presentations delivered during the sales process, thus increasing my reach within the account, assisting my champion in promoting Brainshark within the enterprise, and shortening the sales cycle by proving value early.


From Jon Whitlock’s blog entry, he quotes: “ IDC (Jan 2009) states an average rep spends two hours per week looking for sales collateral and another five hours per week creating and recreating presentations and documents for customers and prospects. 


By employing the “live simply” methods at work, and with a lot of help from the Brainshark platform, I am way ahead of the game and am certainly not spending 7 hours a week looking for, creating, and recreating presentations and documents to support my sales process.