When was the last time you were introduced to a professional salesperson and when asked what they did for a living, they said openly and honestly: "Oh, I sell?"
No, rather most salespeople prefer to disguise themselves behind euphemisms such as: "Sales Engineer", "Account Executive", "Technical Consultant" etc. But nowadays we have to accept that we all sell everyday - doctors, lawyers, estate agents, architects and politicians. The fact remains that anyone who is in business has to sell themselves and their products - and the so called "Captains of Industry" - Branson, Roddick, Marshall, Hanson, Gates, Dell and Co. are thought to be amongst the best salespeople in the world.
It therefore follows that the quality and success of our salespeople will ultimately determine the success of our business: Certainly the world has become more competitive and in order to survive and prosper we need to continually expand and develop the skill sets of our sales teams.
Sir John Harvey-Jones said "Most companies fail not in their attempts to be innovative or creative. In this country most of them fail because they undervalue the importance of professional selling"
Unfortunately, the task of selling never becomes any easier and as competition continues to intensify, sales people will face issues that can be extremely difficult to deal with e.g. decreased product uniqueness, increased competition within 'safe' markets, longer sales cycles and shorter product life spans. Every organisation that intends to survive in the re-engineered environment, which arrived with the new millennium, must, in my view, respond to those realities.
In summary: Our commercial functions, particularly the sales team, represent our forward line, if they are not scoring regularly we cannot possibly achieve our overall commercial objectives - i.e. nothing happens until somebody sells something and all that investment in costly accounting software, new office equipment, expensive IT systems etc. will count for nothing. We can therefore say with complete confidence, that selling really is the key factor in the total marketing process.
Today's News: This is going to be a particularly busy week; to kick-off:
On September 17th there is a no-charge webinar, being hosted by JigSaw, that will have an audience of 1,000+ entrepreneurs, business leaders, and sales & marketing professionals looking for an edge or unfair advantage in sales.
During this 30 minute webinar Craig Elias will prove that there is a Silver Bullet in sales. Just click on the banner below for full details.
A great article from Paul McCord was this week's worthy winner over at Top 10 Sales Articles - be sure to check it out.
Tomorrow: My guest is CEO of The Sandler Institute and fellow Top Sales Expert Steve Kraner, so do join us.
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