I have heard the reply I’m “in sales” so many times when someone is queried about their vocation. There are positions in the sales organization are not directly sales related. CRM administrators, sales operations managers, and support people all play a role in contributing to the bottom line. What confuses me is when a quota carrying member of the team can’t simply say “I’m a salesperson.” It is as if some people want to separate themselves our profession.
Here is a wake-up call for those of you “in sales”. If you don’t get it in your head that you are a salesperson, you will not be “in sales” much longer. Being a salesperson is a mindset. A mindset you never get to turn off. An excellent seller is always looking for leads and making connections. The vast majority of what a salesperson does in their waking hours is directly tied to the bottom line. A great salesperson is circling the name of companies as they read the newspaper and jotting them down on post-its as they watch the news.
A salesperson has a profession and a career. We read books, blogs and attend webinars to hone our craft. People “in sales” have jobs, they will be quick to tell you this. “I have a job in sales” is a typical statement these people will make. These people are also most likely to also hate what they are doing.
The bottom-line is salespeople are typically the highest paid people in any organization. This goes in all industries and geographic areas. What you are taxed with now is deciding if you want a job “in sales” or one of the most lucrative positions in any industry.
I have worked for some inspirational and influential people in my sales career. I have retained the knowledge they have passed onto me and apply it on a daily basis. One of the best tidbits that were passed on to me is –EVERYBODY SELLS. Everyone in your organization should understand that your team as a whole is responsible for driving revenue.
The boss and mentor that drove this point home to me gave me this concept in the form of a story. While vacationing on the west coast in the 80’s my boss had met a retired bank executive. What made this retired executive unique is he was barley in his 40s.
When being drilled for information on how he had amassed a fortune large enough to retire at such a young age he responded: “I make sure everybody sells.” Now this is not a foreign concept when applying it to your sales team; this guy applied it to his entire staff.
Every employee in all of his banks was selling. The tellers would ask you if you had seen their latest Money Market rates. Even the security guard by the door would direct your eye towards the rack of brochures by the door. The security guard would do this while asking if you were interested in a mortgage or a new car loan.
This is a relatively simple concept, and my old boss and mentor did successfully apply it to our company. He is now retired, go figure. If everyone in the company shares in the revenue, everyone on should contribute to the generation of revenue. This is even more important for your client facing employees.
Are your customer services and tech support people trained to identify upgrade opportunities? Do your developers spend their time fixing bugs or creating new features they feel will drive revenue? How much does your receptionist know about your product line and offerings? She is the first person every visitor to your company sees.
The formula is simple. More people in your organization selling equals more revenue being generated.
I have been putting together my 5-year plan. My ultimate goal is to increase my gross sales 20% year over year. To do this particular disciplines must be in place. My first objective is to do at least one “educational” sales activity per day. Activities on my to-do list are reading a chapter from a sales book, doing an online webinar or attending a networking event.