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The Domino Effect

The domino effect is a chain reaction when one motion sets off a series of similar events – such as a row of dominoes falling.  In sales, the stages of our sales process set the dominoes up and when we initiate that process, we push that first domino and the chain of events begins.  The problem is that undisciplined salespeople follow the natural human tendency to cut corners – everyone at some point in their lives have done this, present company included.  But in sales, this can also set off a dangerous set of events which leads to reduced conversions, sales, and even profitability.

The domino effect works to explain how modifying the sales process can actually benefit, and then hinder the sales process.

My biggest pet peeve is when salespeople skip or rush through steps of the sales process to get to the close – which is basically like taking a random domino or two out of the line.  The reason why this is problematic is because it will always end in failure, especially when the salesperson receives a short-term boost from it.  This can seem oddly hypocritical, but hear me out.  Skipping steps and achieving similar success sets a dangerous precedent through flawed logic.

“I am doing better now that I was before, what else can I skip or not emphasize?”

That’s when the real problems begin.  For the salesperson, they have removed so many dominoes from the line that nothing falls.  Unfortunately, since the decline has followed a shallow trajectory, many managers have failed to see the issues as well.  The failure which was compartmentalized is now systemic, making retraining exponentially more difficult.  Not only that, but the missing dominoes represent lost opportunities for sales, up-selling, profit, and commissions.

For me, when working managing my team, not only do I look at their performance, I look at the team’s trends, and the salespeople who deviate from certain data points, then research the causes.  An agent who has a higher than average number of No’s could need help in closing – or could be skipping essential steps of the sales process, etc.  This allows me to quickly uncover issues when they’re compartmentalized, rectify them and move forward, before it becomes systemic.

Dave Capezza

Dave Capezza is the VP of Business Development for SalesRoads, a nationally renowned inside sales authority, marketing expert, leader, and consultant. He is also one of the SLMA's 50 Most Influential People in Sales & Lead Management. His passion has always been focused on business development. As a 4-time Inc 500||5000 Award winner (2005, 2006, 2007, 2014), he successfully helped grow two small businesses into thriving industry leaders by instilling intelligent and proven business development processes, and management strategies. Dave’s mantra is to lead by example, and never ask an employee to complete a task that he isn't willing to do himself. Those principles help him to understand the fundamentals of the organizations he works for, to advance the company as a whole.