Battle drills for sales leaders

The battle drill is a tool that soldiers use to practice fundamental skills for their trade. The one that comes to mind immediately is Battle Drill #6 for the Military Police. I think of this one because I had to do this a hundred times (at least) in my military career.

Battle drill 6 was the act of dismounting a MK 19 grenade launcher from a turret and placing it on a tripod away from the vehicle. Sounds easy enough but when the MK19 weighs in at 72 lbs, it can be a challenge after the 12th evolution and you are being timed to standard.

But we did this drill time and time again for the shear fact that when on the battlefield you needed to know how to do this quickly, safely, and correct to complete your mission.

Drills like these were rehearsed with most of our free time to keep us sharp and on top of our game. The same should be done in business.

Sales leaders should develop their own drills that are specific to their industries. For example I work in a hosted application space for a company called NetSuite that competes with SalesForce.com (CRM) (Who I can say is not supportive of hiring ex-soldiers turned to professionals based on their last failed recruiting attempt.) One of the drills I put together was one focused on calling on every contact I had that was either currently evaluating both our products or had indicated they were current users of SalesForce.com and looking for reasons to switch. It was simple to construct and all that was needed was for SalesForce.com to go down for a length of time long enough for me to complete the drill. Which actually isn’t very difficult either since they have gone down a couple times in the past few months for several minutes or more.

  1. Generate a list of accounts that fit the criteria and have it saved for future reference.
  2. Rank them on status
  3. Start at the top and aggressively call on all of them pointing out the fact that SalesForce.com was down and NetSuite was a solution they could count on.
  4. If their systems came up before I could complete the list it didn’t matter because the damage was done and I could just tailor the conversation on an event that just took place.
  5. After the calls were completed a skillfully crafted email explaining the downtime and NetSuites guarantee on a 99.5% uptime was better than anything in the industry would be sent to the contacts and usually hammered the point home.

That’s it, 5 steps and a Battle drill was designed that can be executed on command.

There are many situations that can be crafted into these drills for a sales group. What do you have?

Koka Sexton

Koka Sexton is a renowned expert in social selling. Some would say Koka Sexton is the reason social selling exists, he would say that social selling existed once buyers went online. A recognized expert in social selling that has produced revenue for B2B companies, Koka continues to make generating new business the focus of social media. Finding creative ways to plan, develop and execute content marketing campaigns that break through the noise and provide value to buyers in excess of what they expect.

One thought on “Battle drills for sales leaders

  • May 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm
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    I guess it is the same in business or military. You drill to be ready and have a game plan to get things done. If you keep sharp and focoused you can do anything you want in business or life.

    power’s last blog post..Router bits.

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