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candy_crush_273_shadowOne of my grandsons loves to play a game called “Candy Crush Saga” on his Mother’s cell phone. I believe the little guy is addicted to it.

The game is simple enough. The player is given a mission and either a limited amount of moves or a certain amount of time to complete that level’s mission. Moves are completed by matching three, four or five pieces of candy in a row having the same color.

The premise is simple, but executing the various strategies involved is what makes it challenging and addicting for many people.

What I’ve noticed from watching the 9-year-old play is that there are a few distractions built into the game. There are striped and wrapped pieces of candy, each with special powers; then there’s the coveted chocolate ball (with sprinkles).

These special candies can be helpful when they’re used as a part of the process of completing each level’s mission, but they can quickly become distractions if they’re created and used outside of the active pursuit of the mission.

My grandson is fun to watch when he’s on-mission, but he will often lose his focus. That’s when I find myself screaming (on the inside), “No! That doesn’t help you reach your goal!”

My grandson can afford to lose focus and just enjoy the game; he’s just a boy being a boy. You and I do not have that luxury in our sales careers.

Where do you sometimes drift off focus into the shiny and sparkly tasks you enjoy doing most in lieu of the tasks you should be doing which are vital to staying on track to meet your [customer’s] goals?

I read a blog post last week that was also focused on the topic of being focused, specifically on being customer success focused.

It was a good reminder that, yes, while we all understand the importance of being focused on the success of our customers, sometimes the cares of this world (our world of our sales) can cause us to shift away from the customer’s success and onto our own short-term selling success.

Teresa Becker (@teresabay), VP of Marketing at @highalpha, wrote a blog post earlier this month for @quotafactory. It’s titled: 8 Ways to Ensure Your Company is Customer Success Focused.” I want to ensure you’ve been made aware of it and read it.

The big idea of Becker’s post is this:

                “The most invaluable assets to a business are customer advocates.”

Becker lays out this post by taking the big idea as the goal and giving us her steps for how a sales organization can consistently remain customer success focused and create a growing number of customer advocates.

I especially like step #4 (Embrace it: Early customer journey’s will have bumps in the road) because this reality needs to be understood, and not just accepted, but embraced.

Perhaps it could be said, as a side note, that underperforming companies simply accept bumps in the road, but high-performing companies embrace them. Bumps are opportunities. Read Becker’s post to see how she explains it, and to read the rest of this very useful post.

I also liked this mention at the end of the post:

“Think about why your company emerged in the first place: a passion for solving significant problems for your customers and for the space you are in. Your customers feel the same way about their company. A shared vision with your customers in producing a true partnership is key to both you and your customers’ success. Use the suggestions we’ve put together as the foundation for a winning, customer-focused company.”

Sales organizations that can avoid the extraneous striped candies [and chocolate balls with sprinkles] and remain focused on customer success will be able to complete mission after mission and continue to unlock new levels to play with those customers for many years to come.

[Reading Time For Becker’s Post: 4:30]

QUESTION ::: What, would you say, is a common or easy way to lose focus and chase a striped piece of candy in our work as sales professionals

Let’s talk about it…

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