This week while researching and prepping for FranklinCovey’s Helping Clients Succeed podcast I ran across the following two articles from VentureBeat:
“Mindtickle raises $100M to gamify sales training”
“Sales enablement platform Seismic acquires Lessonly, nabs $170M”
These articles struck me because of the amount of money being invested in companies that focus on improving sales professionals’ performance. In reference to Mindtickle raising $100M, VentureBeat reporter Kyle Wiggers states, “There is a real and present need for sales readiness solutions. According to Forbes, 58% of buyers report that sales reps are unable to answer their questions accurately or effectively. Moreover, an estimated 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days due to lack of information retention among sales personnel.”
Talking about Seismic’s acquisition of Lessonly, Doug Winter, one of Seismic’s five founders said, “Today’s news is all about creating a better experience for sellers using our platform… Lessonly currently integrates with Seismic’s sales enablement platform…This creates a seamless experience for sellers, who can access training content and lessons alongside associated sales content in one central location.”
Here’s the rub, it doesn’t matter how much money is invested or how great the platform is, if sales professionals don’t use it, there is no gain and the money is wasted. Why does Mindtickle want to gamify training? To get more people training. Why did Seismic acquire Lessonly? To get more people using their platform.
Though gamifying and making access to learning easier, more beautiful, and seamless can help, there is no magic pill to improve sales professional’s effectiveness or increasing success. There is only one way to improve and deliver better results – consistent, consecutive practice. For anyone to get better at anything, no matter what their professional pursuit, they must constantly practice. They must use the tool consistently to benefit from the tool. Mindtickle can have the greatest games in the world, but if not used consistently then retention trickles and is eventually lost. Seismic can produce the slickest interface, but if the app is only opened occasionally, learning languishes.
This is why Streaking is so critical to learning and improving. Streaking powers your consistency engine. It changes the emphasis from what you are doing to how many days in a row you can do it. It puts the power in inputs rather than focusing on outputs. Ozan Varol writes in “Think Like a Rocket Scientist,” “Inputs aren’t sexy. The word input might be better reserved for a boring database software. But an input-focuses mind is the mark of anyone who has achieved anything extraordinary. The amateur focuses on getting hits and expects short-term results. The professional plays the long game and prioritizes inputs…”
Sales professionals who practice at least one communication skill daily will increase their close velocity; or who make at least one new connection daily will expand their network and grow their pipeline; or who review at least one new annual report weekly will increase their ability to provide client centric solutions. Notice the emphasis is on consistent, consecutive, inputs and the outputs follow. The biggest mistake sales professionals make is focusing on the outputs – the revenue won, the customer’s closed, the incentives gained.
You do not need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to be the best in your business or life, you need to set laughably simple streaks that keep you focused on the inputs and the output, well, its priceless.