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The Organizational part of CAN’T

the Can’t in Dr. Hannah Rudstam’s “Can’t, Won’t, Don’t Know How” model: falls into two categories when looking at inside sales:

  1. organizational roadblocks, which we’ll dive into today
  2. the person themselves CAN’T do the job was last week’s topic

Three organizational reasons for a can’t might be; an organizational road block or perhaps a system issue/glitch that is stopping them from moving forward, you might also notice inter departmental issues that bring the sales process to a screeching halt.

Option 1 – Containment

Containment doesn’t actually change anything about the Can’t. Rather, as the inside sales manager, you determine that the sales team is capable of being a success without it.

Containment; if the salesperson is hitting their effort markers and achieving the results you are looking for, does the can’t actually matter?

This doesn’t mean you stop mentioning it or working on organizational changes to fix the problem.

What it does mean is you, the inside sales manager, stop spending either emotional energy or your time daily listening to the team complain.

Option 2 – Alternate Path

Creating an alternate path to the result you are looking for is the difference between managing process and managing results.

Examine the organizational can’t and determine if it is stopping sales behavior or creating extra (unneeded) effort or a result you need to be achieved.

Alternate Path; typically salespeople get creative in how to get around organizational roadblocks.

If you have someone on your team who doesn’t seem to be bothered by an organizational can’t that drives the rest of your salespeople crazy; interview them to find out what their personal work around is. THEN decide if you want to teach everyone else to do that.

You have overcome the can’t by creating an alternate path to the result you’re looking for.

There is also a third option Containment with Alternate Path melding the two together.

An organization I work with came out with a new service offering – unfortunately their existing order processing system couldn’t handle all the variables a salesperson had to choose in order to quote and sell the service.

Step 1 was truly alternate path only; immediately the “cheated the system” using a generic part number with lots of notes / descriptions / cost changes / sell price manipulation. It was a pain for everyone: sales, the product team, customers, and on the back end to get the service delivered.

Step 2 also didn’t fix the problem but contained it – making a customer facing document that made understanding the service and what would happen simple to understand. At least their customers no longer were unhappy with what was going on, containing that part of the issue.

All along their internal team was developing a new systematic way to quote and process the orders for the new service. Until that was completed, the can’t remained even if the sales team had ways around it.

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