Salespeople need them now more than ever.
Let me expand and explain.
As salespeople, we are told to “just go sell”. Get more face time (now video time) with our clients. Understand what they need and then deliver it. Simple, right? From that single perspective yes it is. And once upon a time that worked. In the world of the complex “solution” sell of today, it is no longer effective. AND it never was really what the best of the best did in any case. The very best “sellers” had a lot more internal knowledge, intellectual curiosity, and just plain cared more than the average bloke. And it showed. When the CEB produced their book on Challenger selling they did not invent a class of person that rose to the top. Their research simply pointed out a style that firmly and totally existed already, and that in fact was the best combination of attributes that made up the best producers. What the CEB team did was label things clearly and define them accurately so that we could finally figure out how to search for, find, hire, and enable more of what we wanted in our teams. We are finding that hiring for attitude as Mark Murphy (www.leadershipiq.com) has taught us is the most important shift in hiring that we have ever made. We now hire for traits, not skills. And it is making a HUGE difference. But… let’s go back to building blocks for the moment.
As we hire for attitude, train to teach, tailor, and take control, we also find that the new normal in the co-creation and delivery of insight with our clients requires that our team have a total and detailed understanding of all of the elements of business as the client sees it. Now to do the job we need to have all of the chapters of the book (Shiftability) engrained in our soul. The fundamental elements of the trade now consist of having a full grasp of :
- Our corporate purpose (our WHY from Simon Sinek; www.startwithwhy.com)
- Our own personal purpose
- Our client’s corporate purpose
- Our How and What we do to make a difference with our clients
- A real understanding of our company’s strategy (and it is not $ related), which requires a clear understanding of where we will play, will not play, and how we will win.
- A well-defined picture of what our world looks like many years out is needed to clearly paint a compelling and powerful vision.
- As we rise each day we need a very clear mission statement for what it is that we need to do that day to move closer to our vision. ONE thing, every day!
- Our actions each day have to be driven by key values that we hold near and dear to us and that we simply do not violate. Human values that are powerful and clear.
- Goals and outcomes in terms of strategic objectives have to be built that will measure our movement in the direction that we choose.
- Skills in influencing, relationships, and conversation have to be continually honed and expanded.
- Our difference-making with our clients must be scalable, sharable, teachable, and valuable and built around solid process steps of prescriptive execution.
- All that we achieve, we achieve as a team.
- Preparation for everything is vital, execution is everything, and review of outcomes guarantee our planned success, so our view is summed up clearly as Plan/Do/Review….even at the most minute level.
The sales world that we thrive in today demands uniqueness, but only if you want differentiation from commoditization. And where once that was done by having the best products and/or services, it is now done by the sales professional and their approach to serving their clients. Now, more than ever our best sales pros have a complete grasp of all of the building blocks that are a part of the complex mosaic of today’s business. Building blocks are now for big kids if you want to make a difference!
OK, Let’s Roll!