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Lucas Hamon Aug 4, 2016 3:54:06 PM 8 min read

Balancing Your Business' Religion With Scientific Delivery

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Keeping them separate allows them to come together:

Today, I'm going to talk about some of the more fundamental aspects of sales by focusing on the religious and scientific components and undertones of your business.

I know - usually when people debate religion and science, they are in opposition. At least, those seem to be the narratives that get the most attention. But I'm actually going to talk about the importance of both - illustrating a world where they shouldn't be separated, but rather, working together in their own unique capacities.

Both are critical to sales and customer retention, after all.


MORE LIKE THIS: Inbound VS Outbound Marketing: Your Mission Statement



What is my company's religion?

Some businesses are more fanatical about their religion than others. If you're not really sure how yours measures up, think about your company's culture. Do you have what you would consider to be an "office culture?" If so, how would you describe it, and how does it fit in with your mission statement? Do you have a mission statement? Does it apply to your sales pitches? Your marketing and ads? Your customer service? Delivery?

Is it something that's clearly present in those things without having to verbally articulate it? The closer to yes and "HELL yes" your answers are to those questions, the stronger your company's religion actually is.

Your mission statement is the core scripture of your company's religion. It's what you base your value proposition on, and what drives your sales, marketing, and delivery tonality.

For example, our mission at Orange Pegs Media is to help businesses grow and have fun doing it.

Every nook and cranny of our marketing and sales processes stem from those two things. When we're doing something contradicts that mission, we change it, and if we can't find a way to justify our decisions with that as our litmus test, we simply don't do it if it's within our power.

What is our science?

Science consists of the internal processes and tools for delivery. This will include all aspects, from production to sales & marketing, and everything in between.

For example, we have a tool stack that addresses project management, organization, marketing delivery, analysis, research, collaboration, delegation, and communication. 

(Learn more about our favorite tools HERE)

We also have a very rigid sales process that helps us qualify opportunities as we engage and assess. It's the same structure and overall philosophy that we bring to our sales enablement clients. There are certain steps we take based on certain entry points... We gather certain information, and qualify in and out based on certain answers. We have a rating system for the quality of leads, and we have templates for our email follow-ups.

The point is - the scientific end of the spectrum is there for making it possible to even deliver on our spiritual promises. They are there to reduce friction, make our clients happier, and increase efficiencies to make us better at our job and more profitable.

Now that you know...

Let's talk about their differences and why separation is so important. Let's also talk about how to leverage each side to strengthen the other.

Religions don't change

Your company's religion will never change, or at the very least, changes will rarely occur, and when they do, they're likely to be small, incremental changes. This is an important distinction, because the science will... or at least it should - change - often and sometimes in very big ways.

For example, we recently made the jump from Webex to Uberconference for managing all of our conference calls. I felt that Uberconference was easier to use, had a cleaner interface, and even had some hidden gems that make using it fun for my teams and customers.

For one of our sales enablement clients, we helped them add another step in their sales process, so they could learn more about each other before getting to the proposal stage. This was an important step in the evolution of their processes, because yes, it lengthened the sales cycle, but it also qualified out accounts that were being proposed to that shouldn't have been. For this particular professional services client, a proposal is quite time consuming and resource-intensive, so they were abble to free up a lot of time and resources by moving deals off the desk that weren't worthy of their time.

It also improved overall volume of closed deals, because their prospective clients were able to better understand the weight of their value proposition. So, fewer proposals out, but more clients in - that's a win-win.

(more like this: Stop Cold Calling Me!)

#2: Religions require faith

When reviewing mission statements and value propositions, it's hard to assign a dollar value to your core beliefs... especially the bigger and older we get. We stay true, because when prospects ask our sales people what makes our company different, it's important to have a good answer, and it's equally important that people "get it" without a detailed definition.

There are plenty of businesses out there that embrace the value of their religion, and you see it come through in every aspect of the business.

Some of the more revered cultures include:

  • Air Bnb
  • Hubspot
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • DaVita (one of my personal favorites)

These are companies that made a statement - THIS is who we are and how we treat each other and our customers. This never changed. There were no specifics as to how any of those things were going to happen, just that they were. It was and is their promise.

Yet, you'll see the science change all the time. If you're a Hubspot customer, for example, you'll see updates to the program almost daily. From changing out servers to improving the functionality of their software and including input from users - they're constantly tweaking their delivery - but the tone doesn't change... not one bit.

Think about how many times Facebook or LinkedIn changed the user experience or added functionality... or even removed functionality - but never veered away from their missions. And, actually, they would use their mission as their reasoning for making said changes in their press releases. Now think about all of the crazy things you've read about regarding their work cultures.

The thing is - they've embraced their religions, and even though they can't put a plus in the GL for having a company culture, they believe that their success largely rides on maintaining and supporting it.

For our professional services sales enablement client (mentioned above) they were able to improve the personal connections with their clients right out of the gate, because they were more engaged to the project, thus fulfilling a very important aspect of their mission statement.

So, fewer proposals, more clients, mission statement fulfilled

Win-win-win.

#3: Religion is hard to fake

I remember visiting one of DaVita's corporate offices in Orange County back when I was in staffing services. When I arrived, there were droves of people in the parking lots chanting and screaming and laughing and running around. I had never seen anything like it.

When I sat down with my contact, I learned that they were rehearsing for the company play.

Duh... rehearsing for a play. Of course! ... huh?

Yep, a play... and they loved it! Then, as I walked through the hallways I noticed pictures of their teams celebrating, hanging out, smiling, and generally having a great time.

You can't fake that. You can certainly try to, but nobody will believe it's real, and it will come through to your employees and your customers, regardless of how slick and awesome your tools and processes are. If anything, you'll create inconsistencies that are jarring to your customers - if you aren't basing everything off of the same religious beliefs.

The science, on the other hand, can be and often IS faked. For example, how many times have you dressed up an Excel spreadsheet and called it an upgrade to your organization? Now, that's not to say that it wasn't the right move at the time, or that it didn't have a tangible impact, because it probably did/does.

Things change, and sometimes we don't know the right answers until we experiment - which means getting a little creative with our existing tools and processes.

But real advancements come from making real upgrades, and one of the benefits of being able to separate the science from the religion is that you never have to feel like you're abandoning your vision just because you're changing.



CONCLUSION:

Your religion is important, and equally important is ensuring you embrace it at all levels. A question I am always asking prospective customers is whether they feel their company's religious values are apparent throughout the sales and marketing delivery.

Embrace your religion. Preach your religion. And constantly evolve. That's my advice.

After all, if your business exists to remove friction for your customers, shouldn't your outreach efforts communicate that? Or, is your brand generally a disruption when it makes that first contact? Are your sales people shoving 30-second cold pitches into 100 cold calls a day? Is the proposal coming out too early and too often, or is it coming out enough at all?

I'm really interested in hearing from you too. What has evolved, and what have you stayed true to?

If you're interested in learning more about how our sales enablement services can help you realign your vision with your sales and marketing delivery, click here:

Sales enablement services

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Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

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