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Is Sales More Like Hunting or Fishing?

When you implement a customer relationship management system (CRM) for sales force automation, you must analyze your sales process in order to understand the steps that should be automated, and all the business processes that come into play during the sales cycle.



Salespeople use many analogies that are used to describe sales, but the most common are hunting and fishing.  Hunting is the most common way of thinking about sales.  Your sales prospects are targets, and you spend your time tracking them down and finding out how you can reach them.  Sales tactics are a bit like hunting weapons, and you track statistics on how many of your quarry you bag and how many get away.

You can find sales books that explain sales as hunting, and how to use 'trust as your weapon."  Large sales are called "elephants" or "whales" and small sales are "deer" or "rabbits."  In the sales as hunting world, salespeople wander the earth to find prey and stalk them as long as necessary.

Fishing (specifically angling, or fishing with a line and a hook rather than a net) is another useful analogy to understand sales processes.  In most fishing, you cannot see the fish, so you rely on your judgment of the likelihood of fish where you are casting your line, and the quality of bait.

Marketing is the bait for sales.  The quality of your offering (product or service) is crucial for sales. You must have faith in the bait or lures that you use and present them with confidence to be successful.

CRM does a great job of keeping score of sales wins and losses.  It also shows which offerings are most successful, and often helps you identify successful marketing techniques.

What analogies do you use to describe your sales process?  How can these inform your CRM implementation?  If you see your sales force as hunters, how can tracking sales activities improve performance?  Can CRM reports help you understand the tactics of individual salespeople?

Don't assume that your CRM reflects your sales philosophy out of the box.  You can tailor it so that it reinforces the processes that you want to promote.






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