I'm going to begin today's article with a recent example of how reaching critical mass changes things for the better.
Robert Lerose interviewed me for an article that appears on Bank of America's small business site today on How Salespeople Can Close More Deals. This is just one of dozens of my articles, tips and interviews that have been appearing all over the web in the past 90 days. At the same time, Objective Management Group (OMG) has accepted nearly 25 additional Certified Sales Expert/Partners to its Network. OMG is not a big company but it does provide the absolute finest, most accurate and predictive sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments in existence. Are these two trends coincidental or are they connected? (Would you make a good OMG Partner?)
In the past 90 days it seems that OMG has reached a critical mass. Critical mass is important to growth because it marks the point at which customers, resellers, partners and investors begin coming to you, instead of the other way around. And this presents both opportunities and challenges.
Opportunities - When opportunities are coming to you, instead of you having to find and create opportunities, you can be much more efficient. Efficiencies give way to being more effective and allow you to deal from a position of greater strength. This creates momentum and after you are moving forward with velocity and consistency, you become very difficult to slow down or stop. It's pretty exciting! Salespeople can experience this in their territory or vertical, and sales managers can experience this when their team gains a certain level of experience and expertise and achieves a similar level of maturity, proficiency and satisfied customers.
Challenges - We become busier, tend to focus on low hanging fruit, and as a result, can miss bigger, better, yet more difficult opportunities. Things like follow up, top of the funnel work, and follow through can slip through the cracks. We can become rushed, lazier and complacent, skipping important steps, leading to undesirable outcomes. In other words, we can completely screw up this new capability, send us right back down to where we came from, after we worked so hard to rise above.
Two recent examples of companies that achieved critical mass are Apple and RiM. Apple scored big with its iPod, and parlayed that into the iPhone, iPad and next the iWatch. RIM scored big, especially with the corporate world, with its Blackberry but became complacent and saw its market disappear.
Have you already achieved critical mass? If so, how did you handle the challenges? Are you close to achieving critical mass? If so, how can you be sure not to fall victim to those challenges? Do you need to achieve critical mass? Then what must you do - think goals, plan, action steps, milestones, KPI's, time lines and results - to reach critical mass?