A Lesson from a Sales Split Test: We Benefit from More Structure than We Like

A Lesson from a Sales Split Test: We Benefit from More Structure than We Like

The Accidental Sales Split Test

I started a call recording and coaching program with a client who had two sales teams.

After the initial training, one of the team leaders created a checklist for a discovery call and required her team to check the boxes as they made their calls.

I thought her salespeople would sound like robots on the call recordings.

That is not what happened.

The team with the checklist sounded crisp and concise. They had clear direction.

The team without the checklist quickly lost their way and begin to improvise and meander.

Buyers will follow a person who has a clear direction and a purpose that serves their best interest.

They hang up on stressed out sales reps who don’t seem comfortable.

The result was an eye-opener for me.

If you asked me to use a checklist when I was a young sales rep, I would have thought you were crazy.

But after years of reviewing call recordings, I can report that:

  • The more prepared and structured salespeople are, the more buyers appreciate them. And they say so. Sales masters get compliments from buyers frequently.
  • The more salespeople improvise, the more painful the experience for the buyer. They typically don’t say so. But they ghost salespeople who aren’t masters of their craft.

This observation shouldn’t be a surprise, in hindsight.

In most endeavors, behind great performance is great process.

Pilots, quarterbacks, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and surgical teams all use checklists to master complexity.

The Diagnostic Deck

The Diagnostic Deck is the most recent incarnation of that OG checklist.

You can use it to:

  1. Prepare:
    • Customize the questions you use.
    • Align your beliefs with the questions, so you are comfortable asking them. If you are not comfortable asking, they will not be comfortable answering.
  2. Execute:
    • Use it as an in-game call guide
  3. Assess
    • Use results to continuously improve your process and your mastery of the process. Be like Katie Ledecky looking at the video of her last swim and comparing it the perfect breaststroke.

While you may resist the idea of following a structured process, if you do your own test, I think you’ll find structure alleviates frustration for both you and the buyer.

Freely chosen discipline is the ultimate freedom.

If you’d like a copy of the Diagnostic Deck, please let me know and I’ll send you the template.