Collector - June 2017 - 36

SALES

The Business Battle
How a new take on strategy can enhance your sales management.
By Marc Trezza

T

he difference between strategy and
tactics is contact. Strategy occurs
inside your walls, tactics begin when
you contact your prospect. This series of
articles, based on the writings of Sun Tzu,
will begin with strategy and then move
toward tactics you can use.
The ideal strategy is the one that works best,
so it follows that implementation is a powerful
component of a successful strategic rollout. The
tactical implementation plan is as important
as the strategic plan because it takes vision and
strategy to the point of contact.
The collection marketplace is a moving,
breathing thing. One of the tactical
necessities is the ability to recognize change
and adapt to it.
One of my agency clients went from
winning bids and RFPs left and right to
becoming the perpetual bridesmaid-second
and third place finishes happened again and
again. So we had the salespeople get debriefs
from everyone who did not choose us, and
put in requests for copies of the winning bids.

36

We analyzed and scored the information
to determine areas of weakness that
were costing us wins. Armed with that
information, I convened a meeting of the
entire senior management team to review the
findings and discuss a new plan of attack. We
made adjustments in pricing and established
a plan to immediately address areas where
we were being out-scored. Six months
later, back on our winning ways, the senior
operations manager sent an email around to
the entire company saying, "Holy crap! The
sales force is on fire!" Real-world analysis is
essential. Learn, adapt and overcome.
These kinds of changes often require hard
decisions. Step one is to accept that you might
have been doing it wrong, and that's not an
easy thing to do. Here's how Sun Tzu's advice
on strategy and tactics in The Art of War can
help transform your approach to sales.

MARSHAL ADEQUATE RESOURCES
Your company needs to invest adequate
resources to sustain a successful sales

Editor's note: This is the
second in a series of seven articles
examining innovative sales techniques
based on The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Read the first article in the May issue
of Collector magazine.

operation. Half-hearted measures result in
failure; there has to be a true commitment
to success.
Collectors used to sit with a shoebox
full of 3x5 cards and dial the phone before
automated collection management systems
came along. That technology and approach
revolutionized our industry.
But the first agencies making that
transition went through an almost agonizing
process before plunging into the unknown.
It wasn't just scary, it was a considerable
investment that required a complete change
in the way things were done as well as
extensive training and support.
It's the same for transforming sales. The
first step to positive change is recognizing that
the traditional, seller-based sales approach is
that 3x5 card approach applied to sales.
Once an agency came to me when it had 15
full-time employees. The CEO swore he was

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - June 2017

President's Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
In Case of Emergency
Pulling Back the Curtain
ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Calendar
Honor Roll
Seeing Eye to Eye
The Business Battle
Blueprint for Success
Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover1
Collector - June 2017 - Cover2
Collector - June 2017 - 1
Collector - June 2017 - 2
Collector - June 2017 - President's Page
Collector - June 2017 - Industry News
Collector - June 2017 - 5
Collector - June 2017 - 6
Collector - June 2017 - 7
Collector - June 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - June 2017 - 9
Collector - June 2017 - FYI
Collector - June 2017 - 11
Collector - June 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - June 2017 - 13
Collector - June 2017 - In Case of Emergency
Collector - June 2017 - 15
Collector - June 2017 - 16
Collector - June 2017 - 17
Collector - June 2017 - 18
Collector - June 2017 - 19
Collector - June 2017 - Pulling Back the Curtain
Collector - June 2017 - 21
Collector - June 2017 - 22
Collector - June 2017 - 23
Collector - June 2017 - 24
Collector - June 2017 - 25
Collector - June 2017 - ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Collector - June 2017 - 27
Collector - June 2017 - 28
Collector - June 2017 - 29
Collector - June 2017 - 30
Collector - June 2017 - 31
Collector - June 2017 - Calendar
Collector - June 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - June 2017 - Seeing Eye to Eye
Collector - June 2017 - 35
Collector - June 2017 - The Business Battle
Collector - June 2017 - 37
Collector - June 2017 - 38
Collector - June 2017 - 39
Collector - June 2017 - Blueprint for Success
Collector - June 2017 - 41
Collector - June 2017 - Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Collector - June 2017 - 43
Collector - June 2017 - Compliance
Collector - June 2017 - 45
Collector - June 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - June 2017 - 47
Collector - June 2017 - Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover3
Collector - June 2017 - Cover4
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