Sales Leaders – Pause Before You Accelerate

Man, there sure are a lot of people out there hacking, disrupting and accelerating the Sales industry these days.  Honestly, it feels like half the LinkedIn/Twitter profiles I come across fall into one of those categories.  I’m all for increasing the efficiency of your team and leveraging effort to the fullest, but there is a major component missing where the rubber meets the road.

Do your reps have the “blocking and tackling” Sales skills mastered so that these tools are a blessing instead of a curse?  In a lot of organizations I work with there is a huge focus on getting tools and technologies in place, but no one is making sure that the reps have the basics down.  The result is that they end up “accelerating suck” as one client termed it.

 Are you at risk of accelerating suck instead of sales as you close 2016?

Here’s a quick test: Jump into your call recording software and listen to a dozen recent calls.  Make sure you sprinkle in top, bottom and average performers so that you get a good sample.  Did you like what you heard?  Did you find yourself yelling at your speakers as you listened?  Were you scratching furiously at your skin begging for it to end?

Now, are you sure you want to invest in a tool that will allow them to have thatconversation 5 times more frequently than they do today?

This isn’t to say that technology is bad or that you shouldn’t invest in tools to increase your team’s productivity.  It is to say, however, that regardless of how you get there or how frequently you get there, sales still comes down to two people having a conversation.  How much time, effort, and money do you invest into making sure that conversation goes well?

No amount of automation is going to identify what the customer truly values.  No CRM plug-in can create the connection or response that your top salesperson can when he or she solves a problem that has been haunting a customer for years.  Technology can put a salesperson in the best position to be successful, but it can’t have that conversation for you.

So by all means, invest in tools and technology for your team.  Just make sure that the skills are already in place so that you actually reap the benefits of your investment.

Simply put – don’t accelerate suck.

John Healy

John Healy is a Sales and Leadership expert for Factor 8 with over 16 experience in the industry. He has worked for and with companies ranging from startup to Fortune 500 around the world to maximize Sales performance. You can follow John on LinkedIn, Twitter, or at www.factor8.com.

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