We live in the era of the vendor. Any given company is probably working with a number of vendors, from outsourced tech support to marketing agencies, who in turn may have their own subcontractors. The competition for business is intense.
As it probably does for many of us, the day I realized I was no longer the “young guy” at work came as a rude awakening. It happened once I began to build and manage my own inside sales team, which was made up of 20-somethings.
After nine years working with companies on sales messaging, I have found that the number one inhibitor to salespeople articulating value is that they don’t create enough contrast between the before and after word picture of owning their product.
Sales leadership has never been easy. I once heard a senior vice president of sales refer to the job as carrying “a carrot and a baseball bat because a stick isn’t enough.” Of course this is a bit dramatic, but motivation was a large part of the job.
Growth is something we must nurture and generate, not just passively wait for it to show up (though sometimes it does). We must make it happen, and be in a position to capitalize on it when our entry point comes.
Saying there’s an underperformance problem in sales is a bit like saying there’s a salinity issue with the ocean. Sales wouldn’t be sales if there were no hitches in executing your message, maintaining good habits or moving your opportunities ahead.
There’s no doubt that our emotions have a large effect on our buying behavior. There’s the pride of ownership, the desire for comfort, the fear of “missing out,” and many other customer emotions that a marketer or salesperson would recognize.
In 1984, Jim Koch, then in his mid-30s, made the leap from working in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group to start Boston Beer Co. The company, makers of Samuel Adams, rented space and equipment from other breweries for more than a decade before Koch purchased his first brewery. Today, Koch is a billionaire and Boston Beer Co. is the second-largest craft brewery in America.