I was on a conference call with a prospective customer this week. We discussed an engagement for the sales organization. They are experiencing the challenges of the ‘Sales Shift‘. Lengthening cycles, discount competition, margin pressure, anxious buyers and less budget all together. Tough landscape for the sellers. The world has changed. It isn’t going back. What was good enough to get us here isn’t going to be good enough to get us there. They know this. That is the reality of their reality. So they are making moves. Upgrading talent (firing and hiring). Improving process. Investing in development. Solidifying strategy. Socializing best practices. During our discovery call we discussed the outcome objectives of the event. In addition to sound process and core sales competency they are hungry for a little bit of the sales passion: competitive spirit, hustle, attitude, persistence, follow up, accountability, relationship strategy and a ferocious commitment to making plan…to exploding past plan. Some sellers have it. Some don’t. So, she asked me the big question: “Can you really tech this to our people?” My answer: YES. I can. I will. If I don’t? Don’t pay me. That simple. What I cannot do is MAKE THEM DO IT. I cannot put inside them what was left out. If the pilot light is out we have a problem. That is why I was excited to learn they are focused on getting the right people on the bus. They recognize the shift. Not everyone is up for making the transition to what is next and new. That is why the people strategy comes first. Get the right kind of sellers in the seats and we’ll put the process in place to accelerate performance and move them past plan. We spent a little time talking about what kind of person is making the shift. Wants to make the shift. Wants to put in the work to make plan. We agreed. Focus on the people strategy first. Once you have the right kind of people in place you can teach them to sell more. Included is content from our keynote at the ACA Convention, Sales 2.0 & The Social Shift:
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.