“The only way to lead people is to show them a vision of where you’re headed and a path to get there together. These days people don’t commit to companies or colleges, they commit to other people. That’s the name of the game.”
— Dr. Howard Tullman, entrepreneur and author
If you want to attract the best sales people to your company and if you want those people to contribute superior performance, you need to offer them more than a desk and a paycheque.
The best sales people in the business – I mean the ones who consistently deliver at or above quota, regardless of the conditions – get to choose where they work. They want to be inspired, they want to know their work is making a difference, they want to work for a company with great values and they want a leader who leads with passion and drive.
I worked for many sales leaders on my way up. Some of them were good and some were terrible. Most were more like administrators than leaders.
One stood out – a Sales VP at an enterprise software company. He had a vision for competing and winning, he was charismatic, he was in the trenches with us daily and he worked with each every one of us to be successful. And succeed we did. In fact we killed it. We exceeded our numbers year after year. It was hard work, but it didn’t feel like hard work. He set us up to succeed and everyone on the team loved working for him, so we gave 110% to execute on our plan.
Leadership – it is the difference between thriving and surviving.
More Sales Management and Leadership Best Practices: Top Producing Sales Teams Have Quotas. What Type of a Sales Leader are You?.
Picture this competitive scenario. Your company is in a dog fight with two other companies to win an important piece of business. One of your competitors is a large, well-known market leader and the other always offers aggressive price discounts, while your company has the superior product. Who will win the business?
The answer is easy, of course. The best sales person will win the business.
The best sales person will understand the customer’s real needs, work the customer’s buying process, develop strong relationships and fight to position the company in front of the key decision makers, ignore poor odds, stay professional and composed at all times, never give up and keep smiling in the face of adversity. That’s what it takes to win a lot of business.
Selling in a startup or a small company is a lot different than selling in an established company. On the pro side, selling in a startup means less red tape so reps can be more opportunistic and aggressive on pricing. On the con side, reps have to sell without an established brand, references or much marketing support. As a result, reps who can consistently sell in a startup are rare, even if they can sell in a startup in a new industry.
Every dollar counts in an early stage company, so when you are hiring reps be on the lookout for several different types of reps er commonly see in startups:
To continue reading this article, click here >> Continue reading
We often hear business leaders say they wish they could hire some “rainmakers”
to give sales a boost, but experience shows us that this kind of thinking doesn’t typically pay-off. Here’s why:
1. Rare – The salesperson who generates sales out of thin air is a rare breed. If you have one, you are lucky. They are hard to attract and expensive to retain.
2. Disruptive – Sales is a team sport. The lone wolf who brings in big wins can be great for the numbers, but in practice, you can’t build a business around them and in some cases, they can destroy teamwork and morale.
3. Hard to Manage – A self professed “top gun” will assure you they will make their numbers by quarter end (and they probably will), but they will likely shun your sales tracking systems and in the meantime, you are left to guess how things will play out.
4. Fools Gold. Someone who generates sales under almost any adverse conditions is highly desirable, but you can’t expect consistent good results if enough of the other pieces aren’t in place such as product quality, customer support, marketing and a selling system that leads to desired outcomes.
The best performing sales teams comprise a mix of ambitious, professional, reliable, and conscientious team players, who are passionate about what they sell, fit with the corporate culture and buy into a structured sales system. The added upside is that teams like this are less expensive and easier to build than trying to put together a group of “rainmakers”.