When working with sales people and organizations on questioning skills I always teach a technique developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used within the Toyota car company. As Wikipedia defines it, “5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationship underlying a particular problem.”
I teach this to help people understand the root cause of an issue. If one understand the root cause, or real issue, they can question deeper and more effectively to find the right solution.
Of course this works in a manufacturing setting, and it is just as valuable in sales. But sometimes people don’t want to accept what has been determined to be true.
Company and sales leaders may experience this with the results (or lack thereof) from their salespeople:
The great salesperson that can’t/won’t manage
The great account manager that can’t/won’t hunt
The energetic sales team now complacent
I evaluate sales teams with OMG’s Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis (SEIA) to basically conduct an MRI into the sales team, sales management and the company systems and processes. It isn’t a behavioral or personality evaluation but a true assessment of the organization’s ability to achieve strategic revenue goals. We can determine if they will, and what is required if they currently can’t.
And I have heard, “That wasn’t what I expected!”
This Dave Kurlan article is about helping leaders look into the mirror, and what some say about what they see.