Each week I am confronted by at least 3 salespeople looking for the easy button, they want me to give them that one move, the hidden technique, that shortcut, that can turn them into a master of prospecting, closing or negotiating.
I remember taking a parenting class when my boys were young. The big takeaways from the class were the requirement to tell your child what the consequences of their behavior would be and to be clear on what you expected from them. I recall my boys’ mother and me saying to each other on numerous occasions, “We can’t get mad at them if we weren’t clear with our expectations.” Sometimes, the principle sounded like this: “Don’t punish them if you didn’t tell them they would be punished.”
What kind of salesperson should you always be on the lookout for? What specific traits does the ideal sales hire always possess, no matter what industry you’re in, and no matter what your market looks like?
Selling for a living in the twenty-first century requires coming to terms with a dizzying array of interconnected, hard-to-anticipate changes in the areas of technology, marketplace trends, and client agendas. Falling behind in any one of these areas means losing relevance and with it, your competitive edge.
Often, we’re frightened when we come to terms with a problem that has grown out of proportion and seems dangerous. As these problems manifest, we become more and more aware of the intricacies that have created it. The hardest truth to face when it comes to challenges that build up overtime is that they are typically products of our own creation. Often, built out of a lack of perspective to our own coded responses that come from the autopilot of repeated behavior.
Selling to major accounts, also known as enterprise accounts, is radically different from selling in other spaces. For one thing, the major account selling cycle is a continuous process – continuous because there’s no end to the cycle of selling to and serving large accounts. And the streams of transactions over time between buying and selling organizations constitute a client journey with a distinctive itinerary along a clear roadmap, a roadmap that delivers value on an ongoing basis.
Of all the sales leaders we work with, we consistently hear the same adage: “I need to hold my salespeople accountable.” That's fine in theory, but the question that sales leaders must ask themselves first is, “What exactly am I holding them accountable to?”
The aggressive, sustainable growth so many company leaders seek, but few can actually point to, lies in moving yourself and your organization into a growth-driven sales culture. The following three steps are essential preliminaries to that shift.