I’ve been in sales since the Bush 43 administration – since NetScape was still a web browser! I’ve sold software, research and various services. I’ve succeeded and I’ve failed. I know what works and what won’t work. After all of this, there are a few things that I’ve noticed on my journey in sales:
1. It’s a lot easier for a consultant to have their feedback taken more seriously than it would be as an employee. I always got a kick out of an employer telling our team what an outside consultant said to them (and treat it as gospel) when we ourselves were telling them the same exact thing months earlier.
2. Companies are looking for long-term solutions to their sales challenges, not quick fixes.
3. Hire people that you’d buy your own product or service from. The fancy degrees and big logos on their resume don’t mean a thing if you don’t want to buy what you’re selling from your own sales person.
4. Don’t be rigid in your mindset. If you’ve been in sales for X amount of years and things aren’t working, change. Customers change. Times change. Technology changes. And so should your sales approach.
5. The best evidence of leadership is when you produce more leaders, not followers. More leaders at a company means more stability. More stability means more customers. More customers means more revenue. Create more leaders, and don’t cut corners to create more followers.