The Race Circuit is a powerful metaphor for selling and the Monaco Circuit is an ideal way to communicate the opportunities and challenges faced by B2B sellers in today’s competitive markets.
To change the way salespeople think about sales process and performance we have replaced the sales cycle with something a little more exciting – The Sales Circuit™. That means leveraging some of the positive associations with formula one racing to generate new thinking and new ideas about sales – to make it about winning, speed, skill and so on. We call it ‘the great sales process make-over‘.
Monte Carol is one of the oldest and most iconic of all Formula One race circuits. The glamour of the yachts in the harbour is matched only by the demands of many the twists and turns of the 3.3km track. There are 5 reasons why we’ve chosen it as the basis for the Sales Circuit™ in the Sales Process Pitstop™:
Monte Carlo has it all – skill, speed and glamour, as well as risk and danger to add to the mix. It is the most iconic, as well as the most demanding racing circuit in Formula One – that makes it the obvious choice as the basis for modelling the Sales Circuit™. Let’s examine the 5 reasons in turn.
1. It’s About Skill
Monte Carlo is arguably the most demanding race circuit in Formula One – it is the ultimate test of driver stamina, confidence & skill. Laid out on narrow streets the circuit has it all – elevations, tight corners, crash barriers and a tunnel.
The Monaco racetrack is as demanding as it is exhilarating. The twists and turns on the track are a good metaphor for the challenges faced in selling to today’s more demanding buyers. The 3.3km circuit has a total of 19 curves or corners, some of which are incredibly tricky – the number of critical steps in the Sales Circuit™ is 16 (that is based on best practice research). The Sales Circuit shows the skills that are required at each stage of the sale and highlights any gaps where they may exist.
There has been a long debate in F1 as to the relative importance of the car, the driver or the overall team to race success. However on a track like Monaco, there is no getting away from the skill of the driver as a key determinant of success. The same applied to adopting the ‘Monaco’ perspective on sales process/performance – where focusing on sales process does not in any way diminish the role of the seller’s talent and skill in winning the race. Rather it is about ensuring that the seller can leverage his capabilities to the full by better knowing and understanding the circuit.
2. It’s About Speed!
Just like selling racing on the Monaco circuit is about speed – that is getting across the line first! Drivers accelerate to over 280km/hr on the city’s narrow streets with lateral gravitational force of 3.6gs on some corners (that is more than astronauts faced on re-entry to the earths atmosphere).
Monte Carlo is not just about speed however. Drivers are only at full throttle for just over half of the circuit. The track’s many twists and turns demand precision and skill as well as power and acceleration (you can find out more about that here).
3. It’s About Knowing When To Slow Down!
The curves and corners on Formula One race circuits make them more demanding than NASCAR racing circuits for example (you can see the two contrasted here).
The Monaco Grand Prix has a reported 55 gear changes per lap. For more than one third of the key points on the track the car is in first or 2nd gear (7/17). So race success at Monaco depends on slowing down as much as speeding up.
There is little real chance for overtaking on the 78 laps of the circuit which consists of:
- 5 short stretches where speeds can reach almost 290km/h
- 7 low turns – the worst of which requires reducing to first gear and cutting speed to just 47km/hr
The salesperson needs to know when to slow down as well as speed up – that makes the Monaco circuit an ideal basis for the Sales Circuit™. Key points where the sellers needs to slow down in order to fully engage with the customer/prospect are; Organization of leads, or contacts, Pre-qualification, Preparation for meetings as well as follow-up, Needs analysis, Co-creating the solution, Building Relationships, Closing and Negotiation. And of course delivering successfully so as to get repeat sales and referrals.
4. It’s About Risks!
In spite of relatively low average speeds (for Formula 1) Monte Carlo is still a dangerous place to race. Drivers regularly hit the barriers or each other. There are few run offs should anything go wrong and in the past some drivers have even ended up in the water! This is an important part of the Sales Circuit™ – its ability to pin-point those areas that represent a risk to target, or to winning the deal.
Monte Carlo is well know for its gambling casinos. But it has also given its name to a problem solving technique used to calculate the probability of different outcomes based on multiple trials or simulations.
5. It’s Glamorous!
The tiny principality of Monaco is a by-word for glamour and wealth. Basked in Mediterranean sun it is a playground for the rich and famous and the Grand Prix is the highlight of the Monte Carlo year. We attach some of the glamour and fun of Monte Carlo to the discussion around sales process and performance to help sales teams see the impact of any required changes they need to make to their skills, process and performance measures.
MonteCarlo Stamp Image from Camstock
If you are curious about the layout of the Monte Carlo circuit you will find