During University I had the privilege of being one of a few students to be part of the Oxford University Air Squadron (OUAS) where we held the title of Officer Cadet and trained in leadership, adventurous training and flying. Reading Matthew Syed's Black Box Thinking over the last week reminded me of the growth mindset that this group had, particularly with reference to the learning and how this can be applied in the world of SaaS Sales.
As many know the Black Boxes of an aircraft record the electronic information and communication between the pilot and co-pilot. So if an accident does occur the investigators can deconstruct what went wrong so the same mistake does not happen again.
In addition pilots follow Crew Resource Management that mainly focuses on communication within the cockpit to limit the chances of an accident.
This willingness and culture to investigate failures and to learn from errors helps propel the aviation industry forwards with regards to safety.
In most SaaS businesses a sort of BlackBox also exists. The CRM. However, is the same tenacious learning culture present?
To properly execute this approach in Sales it does also rely on someone (an investigator) to be present and not let cognitive dissonance or confirmation bias take over i.e. it being inconvenient for sales people to accept facts which are counter to their views/reputation or pursuing the proof for a specific hypothesis of why sales might not be going as planned.
Even when a sales team/individual is performing it is potentially the best opportunity to take the time to explore all avenues of that success to help replicate across the entire team.
My takeaway from my own experiences and those of others is that your sales team (and your future hires) will be performing at their best if they are willing to learn from their errors and successes as a group rather than feel threatened. This requires a culture that embodies and enables this type of thinking.