Having led sales teams for over 25 years I have heard salespeople frequently say ...”If I only had more leads I could…” They say they could close more sales, sell more new products, and become more important to their distributor network…and so on. Like a carpenter with only a hammer, the solution is to just nail more leads. The trouble is the quickest way to improve revenues is not more leads.
When I wrote my post: Are you enabling your Sales Force or emasculating them? I discussed comments made by salespeople selling in today’s economic climate. In addition I shared other leader’s comments about their view of salespeople and my preference to hire sales Stallions over order taking geldings.
I had a couple of salespeople contact me concerned if they were sales Stallions or order taking geldings. So I decided to share some of the questions I asked them on the telephone in hopes it helps others determine where they fall. But before you answer these questions please understand that teams require all types of people with varying degrees of gifts and experience. If you are an order taker, then be the best order taker with the greatest accuracy to detail in your company…just do not call yourself a salesman nor expect to be paid like a sales stallion.
1. In the last 6 months have you identified a change in your buyer’s buying process that requires a new sales tool?
2. In the last 6 months, have you challenged a corporate norm that is self serving to your organization and not customer serving?
3. Would you describe your role as “fighting for your clients?”
4. In the last 3 months have you experienced conflict with key influencers in other departments in your organization in your efforts to better serve your clients?
5. Has an account thanked you for your quick follow up in the last month?
6. In the last 30 days have you taken a bold action to serve your client without seeking your manager’s permission?
7. Are you in the top 10% of performance to goal in your sales team?
8. Are your accounts in the top 20% of most profitable accounts for your organization?
9. In the past week have you presented your management clients needs for approval?
10. In the last 24 hours have you asked for a clients oder?
If you said “No” 2-3 times be careful as you are on the verge of becoming an order taking gelding.
If you said “No” 4-6 times, don’t look now but you have become an order taking gelding. If that is who you want to be, then be the best you can.
If you said “No” to 7 or more of the above questions not only have you become a order taking gelding, but you are headed for the glue factory if you do not change quickly.
Sales Stallions spend 2/3 of their time listening and understanding the needs of their clients. Stallions understand the needs of their clients and solve those needs with the products and or services they represent. They become internal champions who fight for the needs of their clients. Sales Stallions consistently produce profitable sales revenue. Sales stallions are experts in their client’s buying process. Sales stallions are in the top 10% of sales to quota performance.
How about your company….
How well does your organization embrace client needs?
Does your company welcome your fighting for the needs of your clients? Or do your actions politically hurt you?
Have you been told to “sell through your client’s objections” when you share your clients’ needs?
Are your companies ‘policies and procedures written to better serve your clients, or your own organization?
If you have challenged one of those; “how we do things around here” rules how was it received?
The role of salespeople today is to help guide clients to a sale. Salespeople must become internal advocates for their clients and help their buyers buy, versus selling them. If you are a stallion in line to become a gelding to survive in your organization, you need to ask yourself if you will be happy making that compromise for a company that is disconnected to the needs of its market.
It’s never too late to jump the fence before you get your… “Values”…. snipped.