“I know all of this; I have been selling forever.” Many sales reps that have worked for me or with me have told me this. And I get it, as I am also a seasoned sales person. Yet, I know that if I had not incorporated new activities, skills and tools into my repertoire, I would be put out to pasture and would not have been successful at my job for the last few decades.
Sales people have to sell differently over time due to evolving technology and a host of other factors like changes in buying behavior. Jill Konrath explains this well in her book, Agile Selling. The times, they are a-changing, and this is happening at a velocity that can make your head spin.
So if you say, “I know all of this; I’ve been selling forever,” take stock and think about the following:
- Is it taking you longer to close a deal than it had in the past?
- Are your deals getting smaller than they have been in the past?
- Is it harder for you to get in front of decision makers that it has been in the past?
If your answer is no, then kudos to you. You’ve been able to make the shift instinctively. However, many of us are not in the same place. We see others bringing in the bigger deals like we used to. We see others closing deals in less time.
To sustain a competitive advantage, you need to constantly learn new skills, techniques and tools, especially from others who have figured it out.
Many times when I am working with a client helping them construct their sales process, there is always the more mature sales person who does not see any benefit in doing things differently. But 99% of the time, after we mutually agree on their sales process, there are always one or two key activities they used to do or never did, and agree they will incorporate them into the way they sell. And maybe they do not know it all, even if they have been selling forever.
We all have to stay current in this ever-changing selling world because if we don’t, we will be left in the dust like any other seasoned sales person who just refused to change.
Janice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter