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How Linear Thinking Kills Full Funnel Freedom

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This is the full funnel freedom podcast, supporting sales leaders, and managers to improve their sales funnels from people to prospects. I'm Hamish Knox. In this show, you'll learn how you can improve your results. Lead a great team and hit more targets with full funnel freedom. Welcome to the full funnel freedom podcast.
I'm your host Hamish. In this episode, I will share ideas and insights around how linear thinking kills full funnel freedom. Our brain takes up about 2% of our body weight. Yet it burns about 20% of the calories we consume every day. So it's an energy pig, and that's why as humans, we like linear thinking whether we're using heuristics biases or other mental shortcuts to follow a linear path from, if this, then that linear thinking can help us burn fewer mental calories, but it can also kill our chances of creating full funnel.

We may have given our salespeople a process to follow, define their ideal sale, high up all the loose ends and vanish the magicians out of their funnel. But our funnel still looks like an accordion on a month to month or quarter to quarter basis. So when our funnel is not consistently full, we may be tempted to do more field support visits, or zoom alongs, as they're mostly called today with our salespeople to confirm that they're using the tools we can.

But that does nothing more than end up exhausting us and taking time away from the work that we need to be doing. And it ends up as coming across as micromanagement to our salespeople. So what's probably happened in this case, is our salespeople, or at least some of them are taking our process and our system and our ideal.

Very literally, which causes them to think linearly and essentially create in their minds, the very tight filter through which they're trying to push their prospects and their expansion opportunities. And then they're starting to create false positives, which means they're rejecting ideal prospects because the prospect didn't exactly fit through this very tight mental filter that they've built for themselves.

So, for example, if our ideal sale includes an implementation timeline within three months of initial contact, and one of our salespeople was talking to a prospect and their timeline is to implement three and a half months out. That prospect is going to get rejected because to the sales person, it doesn't specifically match our filter, which is three months from initial contact.

And if we ever asked them about it, the sales person will say something like, well, I followed the process. All of that is a result of linear thinking. So to reduce linear thinking in our salespeople, we want to start by first of all, sharing our overall vision and that vision could include something like add more qualified opportunities to the funnel, keep art of courses qualified, not those magicians that used to appear in our funnel.

Before we started going down the path of full funnel. A great way to share our vision is in the form of questions. So we may say, how do we get more qualified leads in the funnel and let our team build the path to our mountain cop for us, by doing that, they're more enrolled in actually achieving the vision that we have.

This is a topic that's discussed in detail in my second book, change the Sandler way. If you'd like to dive in more detail into how to get your team on. Once we've got our vision in place and we've got our team in a role in achieving it. We want to give our sales people permission to think strategically about how they're going to get to that objective.

This is similar to leading by mission or fewer in admit off-track forgive the bad German pronunciation. This was used by the German army, and it's been adopted by the allied armies, especially after world war II. So in the previous example where our sales person rejected a prospect who had a three and a half month implementation from initial contact.

And our ideal is three months from initial contact. We give them the strategic choice to keep that prospect in the funnel. Because all of the other data that they have gathered indicates that this is an ideal prospect versus linearly following our ideal sale process, which says reject this because they're outside of the boundaries that we've escaped.

I appreciate that this idea may be very, very scary for some listeners in the idea of giving their salespeople the freedom to think strategically, probably because you've had a bad experience with that at some point early on in your career, as a leader where you gave freedom and things went very, very badly, got a whole bunch of unqualified opportunities in your funnel, things drag.

Maybe you were reprimanded in some form or fashion by your higher ups and possibly even lost your job. So I appreciate the idea of giving our salespeople the freedom to think strategically might be scary, but let's pull it back a little bit. We're already defining the playing field, so to speak. We're giving them a outcome of mountaintop, a vision to shoot for.

We've actually brought them into the process and they've really designed the. So they're in fact, putting the boundaries on their own Plainfield, which is great because then once they've designed it, they own it because it's there, we didn't give it to them. So by giving them the freedom to define their own Plainfield.

Now, as leaders, we've got a super simple role. All we need to do is keep them from strain out of bounds. And it's going to happen. It's absolutely going to happen where one of our team members will straight out of bounds. They will trust too easily or too deeply an opportunity we'll get into the funnel that absolutely on the surface level looks ideal and they may have even asked all of the right questions to qualify, but at least for now, we're still selling to human beings and human.

Well, why do each other from time to time? So even if that happens, because it's going to, I mentioned on a previous episode, the ideas that my friend bill Bartlett talked about in his book on coaching have permission, protection and potency permission to fail protection that when they do fail, it's a learning opportunity.

Not a gotcha. And the potency, which is the tools and the resources to succeed in their current role. So when we protect one of our salespeople who do let a magician into their funnel, we take a win or learn mindset with our team members. So there's no losing, it's either winning qualify the optimal. Got it across the finish line there now in a, a client that we can expand our relationship with, or we're going to learn, and we're going to debrief that opportunity.

Take out the lessons that we can learn from them. We can share those with the team internally. Here's what the situation looked like, because that situation will likely come up again. And now we are continuing to support all of our team members by giving them the resources, the potency to succeed in their current.

What's fascinating about giving our team members. The permission to think strategically is that over time they will adapt. This is not going to happen overnight. Human beings are not light switches, but over time they are going to appreciate, first of all, the guard rails that we have both given them in terms of the process and the ideal sale in the system and the ones we've supported them in designing themselves.

That is the plain field on how to achieve the vision that we've shared with. And they will also appreciate the freedom that they have to make strategic choices in those guardrails. What I know about human beings in general and especially about high performers, is they want to demonstrate how awesome they are.

Not necessarily in a chest frumpy look at me way, but they want to demonstrate consistently and repeatably that they are awesome. And if we've given them the Plainfield field, we've helped them in defining what those boundaries are. And we give them the freedom to make the strategic choices on their own while still supporting them.

They're going to perform at a higher. This has been the full funnel freedom podcast. I've been your host Hamish Knox talking about how linear thinking can kill full funnel. Freedom. Thanks for listening, please rate and review share. Listen until we catch you on the next episode. Go create full pharma free.

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