The latest issue of Mindjet’s monthly e-newsletter features a fascinating Q&A interview with Steve W. Martin, author of the "Heavy Hitter" series of books and sales training materials, on how he recommends that salespeople use visual mapping in their work. The bottom line this: while most sales tools (ERP, forecasting and sales lead management systems) are good with quantitative data, they don’t help you out with the qualitative part of the sales process. That’s where visual maps really shine:
"Sales is more than a science, it’s the artful combination of structure and free thinking, process and people, and logic and emotions. How can you capture that in typical forecasting system? You can’t. You need another way to present the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects — the mind, heart, and soul— of the complex cycle of sales. Maps have the ability to match these aspects to one another. Not any one part operates on its own. Remember, logical and rational thinking is not the true decision-maker: emotional people are.
Also, when you’re working on a complex sale you’re not doing it all on your own, there are marketing people, technical people, and managers involved. Maps are the best way to communicate all the intricacies of an account to them. And, once you have made a map of a successful sale, it can be used to help build your sales intuition to win other accounts. Maps also allow you to share this valuable information with other salespeople so they can model successful behavior. Maps bring this all together."
I’ve been aware that some users of mind mapping software are salespeople and sales managers, but I have never heard such a clear explanation of why it works so well for them. Kudos to Mindjet for sharing this interview with us!