While on a sales training trip to Toronto, a colleague and I discussed a recent article in Harvard Business Review.  Dismantling the Sales Machine describes how being a Professional Salesperson has changed.  While our customers are in a constant state of uncertainty, the formula for sales success has always been simple.  Hire. Empower. Provide. Allow.

The Differences Old World Versus New World

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PROSALESGUY Takeaways:  What Does this Mean For Salespeople?

  1. Salespeople have to ask great questions and go beyond the obvious.  What the client thinks she needs, may not be the case.  Look for the cause of the challenge, not the symptom.
  2. Salespeople need to upset a buyer’s complacency and disrupt his likelihood of doing nothing hoping for a change in results.
  3. Salespeople need to pool all resources at their disposal – both within their company and their client’s to cooperatively brainstorm for strategies based on the true needs.
  4. Salespeople need to be working with many clients to ensure the timing is right to move ahead with the ones who have qualified themselves to take action.

While these needs were important years ago, they are even more vital now based on the new world of sales.  Your ability to work with engaged, motivated decision makers rests with your ability to employ the ABC’s of Sales – Always be Connecting not Always be Closing.

PROSALESGUY Takeaways:  What does this for Sales Managers?

  1. Schedule regular uninterrupted appointments with your salespeople to find out what’s going beyond the typical activities of number of appointments, presentations and closed businesses.  Your insights and suggestions will be appreciated and could make a difference based on your experience.
  2. Provide field support to your sales team.  This is where sales are won and lost.  It’s a hands on approach and opportunity to say thank you to your clients.  Don’t let clients associate your involvement with conflict or the dreaded bad news announcement of a rate increase.
  3. Develop an incentive system that rewards salespeople for short term and long term success.  While it’s very hard to look past a missed monthly or quarterly budget, create the vision of cultivating business pipelines designed to solve their client’s on-going challenges.
  4. Understand this simple formulaHire. Empower. Provide. Allow.

Hire the best salespeople to do the job.  Empower them with a positive environment.  Provide the tools required.  Allow them to do it by getting out of their way.

Here’s the Harvard Business Review article in full – Dismantling the Sales Machine


Pro Sales Guy


Pro Sales Guy