We start selling, then many of us move into management and Sales leadership.
While sales is a profession, like being a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. Something we are all very proud of.
But we can become a salesperson without any qualification, in fact, many of us "fall into sales".
Another difference between being a salesperson and say being an accountant, is that to continue practicing as an accountant we need to not only to have passed a certain level of attainment. But we also have to continually train. Each year, we have to attend a number of training session, the objective of this is to keep us sharp and up to date.
Many sales people we meet had a success many years ago and while the world has changed (the internet, social media and mobile as examples) they haven't changed the way they sell. The same with sales leaders, in fact we often see salespeople and sales leaders mandating the way they sold many, many, many years ago. If it worked for me in the past, it should work for me now!
Recently a friend of mine was a approached by somebody from American Express (Amex) in a very spammy way, over social. Now the sales person probably through that approach and spam was social selling, it of course isn't, but they still thought that was the way to act. My friend, called the sales person out on social and copied in all the senior management. The fact of the matter is, that people are using new techniques, regardless of what the management say. And in some cases causing brand damage, as with the Amex case.
This article talks about how often we are too busy working on the operational part of our job to think about new tools and techniques. We are also often blind sided to things that are going on in an organisation.
There is clearly a want in Amex to use new methods to sell, but the management are too blind to see that.
I wonder, how many more companies this is being impacted like this?
The sales leader gets out of touch. As the leader spends more time at headquarters, they can get disconnected from customers and from younger generation sales team members. Meanwhile, evolving customer and employee needs, new distribution channels, technological innovation, and other sales environment changes put the leader at risk of becoming obsolete. For example, today many sales leaders are slow to adapt to the changes that digital and social channels are bringing to sales.