Courageous sales leadership and a compelling sales mission
Monday, May 4, 2015/
Are you the type of person who looks back and dreams of the “good ‘ol days” or the sort of person who looks forward to the future searching for what can be?
It may or may not surprise you that many more people look back rather than forward to what is possible. Wanting things to remain the same, for whatever reason, be it for power, fear of change, loss of face, etc, many people can find themselves with their heads in the proverbial sand as the world passes them by.
Off the back of my article from last week, which highlighted the emergence of hybrid sales teams, I wanted to celebrate those sales leaders who are looking forward into the future and paving the way for their sales teams, their businesses and their customers even despite their current successes. Not content to rely on “business as usual”, these sales leaders know that their future success is not about a quick fix or a silver-bullet solution, instead they pay attention and read the signs of change earlier than their competitors, then set a course of action, stick to their guns looking at the long term. They are courageous in holding true to their vision of what their sales teams can become.
As Charles Dubois said: “The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”
These courageous sales leaders are the way-showers who, despite the norms and “don’t rock the boat” mentalities in their industries, lead their sales teams with courage and conviction creating a compelling sales strategy underpinned by a strong sales mission that sets the standards, guidelines and parameters for “how we sell around here”. This is one of the important things successful sales leaders have in common.
Communicating the purpose and sustaining the momentum needed is precisely what the sales mission is designed to achieve. These sales leaders know that selling is not only (or always) about generating the maximum amount of sales revenue or only about capturing new business from new buyers. Whilst stimulating business and creating business opportunities (in one form or another) is always going to be part of the mandate of sales and selling, these sales leaders know a sales mission’s purpose could vary, based on the strategic imperatives of the organisation as a whole, and change.
That is why successful sales leaders create a sales mission to do the following:
- Provide the sales force with a clear, easily understood and consistent direction;
- Introduce uniform governance and discipline throughout the sales organization;
- Establish the expected standards and behaviour of the people in the enterprise;
- Provide the sales operation with a common set of values; and
- Remind salespeople why they need to perform.
The sales mission is a vehicle for communicating the purpose, value, standards and behaviour to the sales force. For the sales mission to provide guidance, it must be developed with the very people who it is designed to influence in mind.
And when sales leaders get it right the results show.
Here is one such example of a courageous sales leader who set a clear sales mission and underpinned the transition of his sales team to hybrid-sales-team status using the Sales Essentials Diploma Program as one of his key tools of change:
“… our market is fiercely competitive and, although we have offered formal sales training programs to each of our sales and marketing associates since 1995, none have proven to offer a level of client insight comparable to that of Sales Essentials. The program’s core focus revolves around the exchange of a genuine value proposition, coupled with a highly effective strategy to move promptly towards understanding the client’s top priorities.
“In the 2 years since we embarked on this development path with Barrett Consulting Group, we have radically improved our sales business results, returning profitable sales for the last 15 months and establishing deeper business partnerships with a vast array of our clients.
“Incredibly, we have not fielded one resignation from within the sales team since all associates graduated.
“As an organisation, we are ever conscious of the need to ensure that every investment we make delivers a tangible return. Our enrolment in Sales Essentials has proven to be one of the most rewarding professional development programs that we have ever introduced to our team …”
Remember everybody lives by selling something.
Sue Barrett is the founder and CEO of the innovative and forward thinking sales advisory and education firm, Barrett and the online sales education & resource platform www.salesessentials.com. Sue was the first in Australia to get Selling a university qualification and has written more than 600 blog posts and 21 e-books on sales and with her team produces the ‘must read’ Annual 12 Sales Trends Report. Striving for better sales practices and improving sales teams and operations, Sue is a Sales Philosopher, Activist, Strategist, Speaker, Trainer and Adviser. Get to know her further on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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