I’ve seen all kinds of sales leaders. Some that are as inspiring to their sales teams as Churchill and Napoleon, some as forgettable as King Edward V (he lasted less than 3 months).
Business isn’t bad. Why do so many people think it is?
Coming from an upbringing of academics mixed with business, there was always a tug of war. But positive mindsets triumphed. Individuals that are constantly learning are changing business, the world. As the speed of change accelerates, impact grows from transforming together, but there are still too many silos. Business innovation will elevate humanity – if we let it, and work together.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, you’ve certainly heard about social selling by now. Although social selling has become table stakes for some companies, I find that there is still a lot of confusion about the term and what it is.
Where do most of your deeper insights and marketing knowledge reside? Between the ears of your sales engineers. Unfortunately, both VP’s of this division and the engineers themselves feel they’re above the laws of “selling” to customers.
Sales engineers see themselves akin to ninjas, drop into an account for a few hours, razzle and dazzle the customer, and jettison out in rapid fashion. “I don’t own a quota or a customer” is the often heard line.
However, having this mindset is a massive opportunity lost because your sales engineers are your company’s thought leaders!
I can’t tell you how many times I hear from customers or prospective customers “man, you guys are everywhere!” That’s rarely an insult. Customers want to deal with best-of-breed and guess what, they correlate a brand being everywhere, to being the leader of its space.
At Sales for Life, we only have a small team but we have customers with 100’s or 1,000’s of sales professionals globally and have barely recognized the power of amplifying their voices in the market.
If you are still following the same sales playbook today that you did in 1971 then something has to change, immediately. How we sell should reflect current B2B buying behaviours, this requires a more focused organizational process, strategic vision and elevated core competencies.
You’re in sales, and just like Babe Ruth, you will strike out! I hope that like Babe Ruth, your home runs over-shadow your strikeouts but even great ballplayers will miss a few fastballs.
Now what you do right after your strikeout will dictate whether or not you’re setting yourself up for future success or a fast pass to the minor leagues. There are very few buying purchases in the world that are 1x events over a lifetime. You will get another at bat! ERP software, training or even commercial real estate transactions have another chance at the plate over enough time.
A passion project of mine has been working with customers to empirically prove that sales professionals who are willing to learn new skills and apply what they’ve learned in the market are most likely to outperform their peers.
Along this journey, we’ve begun combining our learning behavioral information (data gathered from our Learning Management System) against the CRM data of each of our customers. In between the correlation between learning behaviour and revenue is action – also known as digital activity. An example of this action indicator is LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI), content sharing from your employer advocacy tool or the acceleration of new contacts in your CRM per account (drawn from social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter).
Sales enablement tools have increased marketing and sales’ abilities to speed up your time to close and create personalized experiences on their website for everyone. When a visitor converts (through form submission or live chat) on the webpage, personalization can catalyze further action. Below, we discuss three contextual lead nurturing examples that drive users more quickly through your sales pipeline.