He asked me a question; a question he asks all leaders he meets.
How much do you feel in control today?
How much do you feel in control of sales today?
In many ways, sales hasn't changed. The quarterly and annual pressures, the need to find leads, converting those leads to meetings, trying to convert those meetings to proposals and then moving those proposal to close.
But in many ways sales has changed.
For example, social media, the internet have changed buyers attitudes, the genie is out of the bottle and we are going back. It's like we have walked into a room and the door has closed behind us and we know the only way is forward.
Change has been a constant in sales, the demise of the door-to-door salesperson to the letter, the demise of the letter to the email. While there are still door-to-door salespeople and people still send letters, it's not in the quantities there were before.
There was also the move from feature and function sales, to benefit selling, to solution selling, to Challenger selling. Sales is constantly evolving.
We are also seeing disruption in many areas within sales.
Where will your business be in 2025?
What skills do you need as a modern salesperson?
I was recently asked to put a list together of the skills you needed in the past in sales and the skills you need now. Just a quick brainstorm, the list isn't exhaustive, but it will go something like this. If you can think of some more, let me know.
How in your organization does your sales team get these skills?
Maybe you are lucky and have a sales enablement team that are tasked with upskilling sales. Maybe you are not and you are left to self-educate and read articles like this. Maybe a bit of both.
Before we get into the weeds of how you do this, what is your strategy to upskill your sales team?
Yet another tactical initiative?
Often we see business buying software tools, only for the business to realise that there is nothing wrong with the tool but the fundamental issue is that the people don't have the digital skills to operate that tool. Time and time again, we see these purchases only for the business to cancel the initiative.
We see that the issue is often more fundamental, many leaders don't know, what they don't know.
You don't know what you don't know
Many businesses "know" that they should do something to change, but don't know what they should do. As leaders, we also know we don't need tactics, we need a strategy, otherwise we are just wasting money with all of these tactics.
You need a strategy
It was what my first boss said to me, everytime I said I didn't know what to do with my career "you need a strategy" and she was right.
Something that gives you a strategy but isn't days and days of work especially if you don't know if this is the right or the wrong path to follow.
If you don't know what to do with social and digital in your business here is a way to get a strategy
If you don't know what to do in social and digital with your sales team or any of your employees that we can put a strategy together for you as follows:-
60 minutes - Presentation on how the world looks today with social and digital. Educational in nature, it takes you through the latest research as well as the changes that have taken place in the buying process. 45 minutes presentation with 15 minutes for questions
This would be delivered (and recorded) the week before the workshop.
Following this session we send out a questionnaire, this is about collating a “as is” position. There are a dozen or so questions - 20 minutes.
We would run a workshop online for 2 and half hours this is to debate and understand your “to be position” how crucial is social going to be, what are the challenges to implementing, what to call this initiative, pledges, etc
Following the workshop, we will issue you with a report and your business has a strategy on what to do in business with social and digital.
From there you can put your own plan in place, but at least you will have the facts and the understanding to decide which path to follow.
This is not ...
This is not a course of "hints and tips", this is not a Linkedin course or a twitter course, this is not about how to put flowers on your Linkedin profile.
The time to get your sales team 2025 sales fit is now
This is about how you as a leadership team can get the right skills and more importantly the right strategy to drive your business forward with digital over the next 5 years.
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