Anyone in sales could use a competitive weapon. If you’re in sales, sales management or sales leadership today, you probably have so much going on at once that it can sometimes get overwhelming. You’ve got to focus on the deal, focus on the account, focus on a new social selling program, focus on a new sales process − or whatever new thing your management throws at you. So, what is the new competitive weapon? Focus.
The Fortunate Ones
The fortunate ones are in sales organizations where management is willing to invest in helping you make it easier for customers to buy, and easier for you to sell. Your management is spending a tremendous amount of time (and money) trying to help you – and your company – make more money in a way that’s most efficient for all parties. Why else would they invest in sales trainers, sales consultants, sales enablement tools, etc.?
As a sales person (or someone who manages sales teams), it’s then your job to focus on what’s important to reach your end goals. This includes making your quota and filling your pipeline with quality deals that have a high percentage chance of closing in the current or upcoming year(s). It also includes doing the right thing for your customers so they’ll become references and repeat buyers in the future.
That’s it. Period. End of story. So your job, if you choose to accept it, is to take in all the new information that’s provided to you − new methodologies, new tools, new processes − and use it to focus on your end goals.
Put Your Competitive Weapon in Action
Here are some ways to apply your new competitive weapon and reach your end goals. Focus on:
1. Making your quota
- Spend your time where your customer executives are spending their time, money and resources
- Lose early and walk from deals that are not a good fit for you or the customer
2. Filling pipeline with quality deals
- Spend time fine-tuning your account and opportunity plans, and ensure you have a plan to talk to the right key executives about what they care about most
- Work with key customer executives to commit to a timeframe to help them accomplish their priority business goals, and then be diligent in ensuring they succeed
3. Doing the right thing for your customer
- Be honest with your customer, don’t oversell them, and ensure you understand their risk tolerances to ensure they accomplish their professional, and personal, goals
- Get that reference and get repeatable business – there is nothing more important
What Else Should You Focus On?
As your new competitive weapon, focus on what helps you and your company succeed. And, remember, if you’re one of the fortunate ones whose management understands the need to invest in their sales team, then take all the knowledge you get from training, processes and tools and apply them to reaching your end goals. I guarantee it will help you get rid of the noise, differentiate the way you sell versus the competition, and make you happier since everyone will win: you, your company and – most importantly – your customer. If you’re a sales person or sales manager/leader managing a sales team, are there other focus areas that shouldn’t be overlooked?
Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter