90 The Power of the Team – Part 2

The Power of the Team – Part 2

 

No matter what your current stature is on your sales team, the bottom line remains the same:

  • Elite performers have an innate desire to continuously improve. Even if you are already an elite performer, it doesn’t matter: work to get even better. 
  • If you believe you have already reached your peak, it doesn’t matter: work to get even better. 
  • If you are struggling and have doubts about your ability to succeed in a sales career, it doesn’t matter: work to get even better. 

 

These briefings describe the traits sales professionals must embrace in their quest for excellence that will ensure their success in the revolutionized world of selling. 

 

These traits are critical to meeting the career challenges that will surface with the adoption of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. 

 

Here are three recommended actions for you to consider:

  • First, identify who on your sales team you consider an elite performer. How can you learn from their work habits and approach? Spend some time with the elite performers at a coffee shop, in a tavern, or at dinner and ask what makes them successful… then absorb their take on what drivers led to their success. 

 

  • Second, how can you guide another sales team member to progress to a higher level? What have you learned that could be valuable to help that person improve? Take some time to mentor others on your team. 
  • Third, learn enough about emerging technologies so that you can effectively use them as they become available. Learn to leverage analytical tools that can help you be smarter about territory planning and prospective customer pursuit strategies. This skill set will be increasingly more prevalent as technologies such as Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence are rolled out to sales organizations. 

 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com .

89 The Power of the Team – Part 1

The Power of the Team – Part 1

Selling is often organized as an individual job with individual goals, individual quotas, and individual rewards. But no salesperson can survive on their own. Winning deals usually requires the assistance of the entire support team. This includes the involvement of technical sales experts, marketing specialists, customer service personnel, and contracts/legal professionals. 

 

Selfish salespeople are not good teammates. They forget that someone, somewhere helped them along the way; Surely, someone coached them and mentored them in their early days as a sales professional. Once they have reached the summit of their profession, it is time for them to pay forward by assisting less experienced sales professionals. 

 

However, salespeople face a dilemma: sales management requires that salespeople be completely accountable for achieving their goals. As such, most sales compensation plans only reward a salesperson’s individual contributions. This often creates a huge disincentive for cooperating and working together as a team. Salespeople become more secretive about sharing information, they battle for resources, and there is no incentive to coach or mentor other sales team members. This is not a good model for building a sales organization. 

 

My experience has been a little different. For several years, I worked on a sales team that truly operated as a team. 

 

Our sales leadership structured aggressive team goals and established a single team quota for our entre selling team. 

 

This team quota fostered a cooperative team mindset. It created a tremendous incentive for the entire team to work together closely, share strategies, and deploy all resources for the benefit of the entire team. Peer pressure ensured that there were no sales slugs in the ranks. Our team became a high-achieving group of elite performers who exceeded quota multiple years in a row. 

 

I’m DJ Sebastian and we’ll continue this topic in the next briefing. 

 

88 True Grit

True Grit 

Selling as a profession can be tough… As they say: “After all, if it was easy, anyone could do it.” 

 

Grit is the mental toughness needed to win in a highly competitive market. It’s having the passion to keep coming back for more in the strong belief that in the end you will achieve the result you desire. It’s persevering through adversity, devising strategies to address the near-term obstacles with your eyes on your long-term goals. 

 

Grit requires that you Embrace the Grind: You understand that nothing is given; everything is earned. You don’t let challenges and difficulties wear you down. After getting knocked down, you pull yourself back up, take a deep breath, and press on. Instead of shying away from difficulties, you tackle them head on with the energy you need to remain productive for the long run. Each day, you reflect on what you have learned and what you can do to get better. 

 

Grit is closely aligned to having an optimistic mindset. This is a mechanism that keeps you energized with a determination to keep pressing on in the face of adversity. 

 

Grit requires the mental toughness and the strong work ethic it takes to outwork your competition. 

 

These flash briefings often make the connection between the traits of champion athletes and elite sales professionals. That’s because both understand the power of Grit. 

 

What will you do to acquire the Grit you need to achieve even greater success in your sales career? Take a few minutes to consider how you will apply the mental toughness, embracing the grind, the optimistic mindset, and the strong work ethic to become a “Gritty Grinder”. It can certainly pay dividends for you both in your short-term and long-term pursuits.

 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

 

87 Know Your Customer's Business

Know your customer’s business

 

Jim is an Elite Seller, one of the best sales professionals I’ve had the good fortune to know. 

 

Jim has an uncanny ability to build successful strategies that generated substantial business value for the customer as well as being rewarded with significant sales revenue for his company. 

 

He managed major global accounts and his responsibility spanned every operating division. He diligently mapped out how best to pursue each division.

 

Central to his approach is to build great relationships with his  customers in every region. His customer advocates regularly reached out to him to get information about the solutions other divisions were considering or implementing. That’s right, Jim often knew more about the customer’s business than the customer’s own people did. He was the ultimate Proactive Advisor.  

 

Here are ways for you to learn as much about your customer as possible, then use that knowledge in your selling efforts. 

 

Map out your ideal customer based on your solution capabilities. Pick 4 or 5 key areas, then match that up with your accounts. 

 

Then, for each selected account, identify: 

 

  • What is their Go-To-Market strategy? Do they sell direct to customers or through channels and affiliates?

 

  • What are their major brands and how is each brand positioned to compete in their markets?

 

  • Are they managed globally or regionally? More importantly, where are major decisions made and who makes them? Do regional operations have the autonomy to make decisions and decide on solutions, or is there a corporate standard that must be followed?

 

This will serve as a start for you to know your customer’s business. Once you’ve collected enough information, you can map out how best to pursue each division. Just like my friend, Jim!

 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

 

86 Have a Backup for Everything

Have a Backup for Everything

 

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” 

 

That’s Murphy’s Law.

 

“The more important your customer meeting, the more likely something will certainly go wrong.” 

 

That’s a Salesperson’s corollary to Murphy’s Law.

 

Your detailed preparations and your best-laid plans can fall apart before your meeting begins. So rather than hope nothing bad happens, anticipate that it will when preparing for your meetings. 

 

Here are some situations that involve roadblocks to a presentation. What would you do in each of these instances?

 

  • You are expecting to present in a large conference room, but when you show up the meeting has been moved to a small office with no slide projector, no white board, and no flip chart.

 

  • The internet connection your customer or your team plan to use fails before or during your meeting. You were counting on that connection to deliver your message, and now you have no way to access the outside world. 

 

  • Your meeting was scheduled to be on-site, but due to last minute changes, you have to change it to remote web conference. How will you engage your customer remotely?

 

  • The only way to connect with your customer is through a phone conference. How will you include the visuals you have prepared?

 

  • You asked to send files to the customer in advance that include the visuals you need to discuss over the phone… but the customer informs you that due to their stringent security functions, they will not be able to accept these files. 

 

In these situations, how will you possibly continue with your meeting? 

 

The answer is to always have a backup plan. For every logistical item, every communication method, every visual, have at least one backup method for sharing the information. Relying on your backup plan could be the only way to salvage a meeting and maintain your momentum.

 

I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about what it takes to Become a Great Communicator, visit my website at thetechseller.com.