Live from the ALSD Conference (why weren’t YOU here?) in Atlanta, questions are coming at me left and right! Exciting to see so many people wanting to grow, teams wanting to change, and open minds! Here are some questions from YOU, my readers, as well as in person here.
I’ve been in the business of sales now for 4.5 years, and I am really wanting to take that next step and coach new team members or have a managerial role somehow. Our leadership team, however, is set and no opportunities will be forthcoming soon. I like my job, I like being here, but don’t see growth. Should I just look for a new opportunity? K, south team”
There are a few important things here that you have implied: you like your job, you want to grow, and there are no titled opportunities. My question to you is: why does it have to be titled? There are only so many titles teams can hand out. They should never be given based on length of time there, but rather growth opportunities for those who are ready. Again, there are only so many to hand out.
If you want that next opportunity, talk to your manager about taking something off of their plate. Perhaps you could take over the sales internship program and do a training with them, coach them, set goals, etc. You may not have a manager title but you are now getting valuable experience in the leadership role. Is there a project you could take over that you could redesign, work with the team on and plan it out?
My point is, it’s ok to make opportunities happen. Even if they don’t have a title, they are a career builder. And if you are happy where you are, flourish!
I need to up my sales as I am in a new role, and the lists aren’t getting it. We’ve got data usage here, but it’s still not helping. Any suggestions? B, east”
The one thing we seem to lack as a whole is the art of prospecting. Data is valuable, but it can be used in many ways. If you have a profile of a specific category buyer, then where do we find those people? What are the types of businesses? What would the company look like? As you start profiling, do your research of them. If, in researching, you truly believe they are a fit, and you feel they should be doing business with us, you will go in assuming the sale which is far greater than calling from a list. You are already moving up the pipeline.
Prospecting: the where and how is a large section of one of my workshops, but one of the best books out there is by Jeb Blount and is called “Fanatical Prospecting.” It’s a great read and you will get so many ideas of the ‘how’. I strongly encourage you all to check it out!
Our staff is really streamlined and we all have direct reports. It’s really hard to sell one of the supersized groups you talk about as we don’t really have a good relationship with operations or marketing. What to do? C, midwest”
I sure wish I could wave a magic wand and have departments work together. It’s so needed and so often not done. Two of the most important dotted lines in the org chart are marketing and sales and operations and sales. Unfortunately, most teams do not have that dotted line, and instead every department is it’s own business.
As I can’t change the org chart for you, I would recommend a conversation with your supervisor about having a monthly sales and marketing meeting, where all the upcoming groups are discussed and ideas are shared as to how to best maximize them. Some of the strongest sales teams I’ve worked with had sales and marketing meetings and often would invite ops in if large group events were being discussed. They would even add CP, realizing it could be a partnership opportunity also. These are the groups and nights that ended up being highly successful. It’s worth the ask and just may open the door. If they are uncomfortable doing this, then knowing me…I would simply walk over and ask for their support and help. I have found most marketing and most ops departments are more than willing to help but simply aren’t included in the process.
The same goes with CP. Sometimes we tend to be overly protective of our corporate partners (rightfully so) but we don’t give them the added value of bringing all their staff out, or giving them the opportunity to buy suites. As departments, the key is to work together for the good of the client.
We are a team. No team can be supported by only one department. We need each other. Break down the walls.
Kathy Burrows, CEO…Sold Out Seating
Strategic planning? Leadership? Sales training? Here to maximize your team and staff. Connect and let’s see if we are a good fit for each other. It’s ok to ask for references! firstname.lastname@example.org