Sunday, September 20, 2009

When Inside Sales Tenure Becomes an Anchor

How many times have you heard this from one of your top performing inside sales reps, "I have been doing this for several years and I am 100% at plan for the year. I just want to be left alone, so that I can do my job." Welcome the two biggest anchors of personal growth for most sales people.....tenure and quota attainment. Be careful, two of your biggest assets could be a latent liability if you are not careful.

Tenure and quota achievement are two great things to have on your sales team. I wish all my reps possessed both. But the potential problem for you as a seasoned, quota achieving sales person is becoming status quo. Everyone can always improve. Take Tiger Woods for example. He is by far the world's best golfer, so why does he need a 60 year old swing coach? Because he knows how important the fundamentals of golf are and even his swing gets off track. He constantly is pushing himself to get better and he insists on having multiple coaches who push him to be the best at all times.

This is the type of team I want to lead. Folks who never are happy with quota attainment, folks who understand change and the importance of changing with it. I push my teams to be creative and Web 2.0, but I never forget about the basics of selling and how to create value for our clients. It's easy to get off track when you have mastered your product and processes. It's my job as a leader to keep the team up to date with the times and constantly fine tuning the basics.

Here are some of the basics in which I preach and teach:
1. Ask...Why is that important to you?
2. Establish baselines. If they want to increase revenues by 20% using your product...find out what their revenues are today.
3. The ability to listen.
4. Never answer for the customer...let them tell you themselves even if you know the answer.
5. Never sell futures.
6. Be consultative.
7. No when to walk away from the deal.

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