Throughout a very successful sales career I have often reflected on “what I do, what works and why?”
While I could always make my own observations, the true insights come from asking your peers and, more importantly, your clients.
What they shared with me was insightful:
- Strong leadership with integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, and respect for others,
- Taking an interest in my client and my client’s business,
- Keeping an open mind while listening to my client,
- Thinking strategically and analytically to really understand their needs,
- Developing relationships across multiple stakeholders to gather different perspectives on a need or opportunity,
- Applying creative thinking to identify solution options before settling on the right approach,
- Harnessing the right team to frame the solution to maximise business value,
- Negotiating with a genuine focus on win-win.
- Maintaining a presence throughout the sales and delivery process,
- Nurturing relationships without having an immediate opportunity.
It seems simple and straightforward and I am not claiming to be Robinson Crusoe here however, I have also seen plenty of salespeople and sales teams struggle.
Most of my career has been spent with global ICT organisations. These organisations invested heavily in their salespeople, along with the systems and processes necessary for them to be efficient and effective. They attracted clients across all industry segments, which resulted in me working across: manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceuticals, state and local government, construction, health, electronics, utilities, agribusiness, education and defence.
In more recent years I have worked with a small to medium business in sales management and general management roles. I was responsible for leading national and international sales and marketing, establishing a culture focused on teamwork and client satisfaction, as well as aligning business functions to optimise the customer journey.
Integral to these activities has been effective planning (strategy, territory, account & opportunity), defining sales territories, setting team/individual goals and the compensation plans to motivate the right behaviours, and implementing or refining business information systems to inform the business on current performance and future planning.
Throughout my career I have also enjoyed contributing back to the sales and sales management professions. With this background it seemed logical to establish Sales Optim to coach and mentor business leaders and sales professionals to optimise their operations.