Companies that consistently grow and capture market share have three things in common:
- They are committed to building products and services that provide value.
- They implement a solid demand generation strategy.
- They create a growth culture that supports and rewards sales performance.
The sales function is one of the most critical areas of a business, yet in many cases, selling is seen as a necessary evil, rather than a profession to be respected. Most executives assume sales leaders just play golf and go to lunch all the time. Few C-suite executives realize what it takes to find, cultivate and close a sale. Unless top leaders began their career on the sales side, they rarely understand how to develop a professional sales organization, much less inspire one.
The truth is – a sales team can’t be motivated by just money alone. They are either internally driven to perform at high standards and thus grow competence and confidence, or underachieve and lose confidence in themselves and the company they represent. At the same time, hiring “high performers” is much easier said than done.
What separates a great sales organization from a mediocre one is the implementation of a sales methodology (rather than a process) that is both natural to each sales leader, and builds confidence and competence with each win. Success breeds success.
There are dozens of sales methodologies in the marketplace, yet most are focused on “scripts” and “process” rather than performance and congruence. For a sales model to be effective in today’s multi-channel hypercompetitive business landscape, the sales methodology must also be authentic.
With numerous product options and multiple methods of purchase, some think the salesperson will become extinct. It would be easy to assume that, given the ease with which people can transact business through channels other than a salesperson.
“People buy for the same reason they always did, they just buy a different way,” says Terri Maxwell CEO of Promote On Purpose and founder of Authentic Selling™.
The challenge for sales organizations today is not process, but differentiation. For a company to grow, the sales team MUST differentiate your brand. Maxwell notes: “People don’t pay more for great solutions. They pay more for the perception of value.” So, if you want to provide more value, and thus increase profitability, implement a powerful, yet authentic sales methodology.
“Sales leaders need to build both confidence AND competence,” Maxwell says, and these two things go hand in hand. To increase her own competence, Maxwell invented Authentic Selling™ because she wanted to focus on serving rather than selling, and providing value rather than pushing solutions.
Since two of Maxwell’s four companies have a Demand Generation function, she is frequently asked for assistance with sales training and methodology, and over the last decade has taught this methodology to entrepreneurs and corporate sales teams around the world.
“It’s fun to teach and easy to implement because Authentic Selling™ leverages each person’s unique strengths and personality. Rather than everyone using the same techniques, sales professionals apply the methodology in ways that are natural to their personal style.”
The Authentic Selling™ methodology builds confidence, and Maxwell says there are three critical pieces to ensure its effectiveness.
- Methodology that Matters
- Must be natural and easy to apply, which increases competence
- Focused on solving problems for a target market, which fosters confidence
- Tools & Training that Transform
- Sales enablement tools that are simple and easy to use which raises competence
- Training that fits each person’s natural style which boosts confidence
- Role Play & Reinforcement for Readiness
- Role-playing is critical for preparation and adoption
Reinforcement from management will accelerate and strengthen adoption
“Building a successful sales organization isn’t about commission plans or reward trips. The key to sales success is to build an organization that breeds success naturally by teaching sales professionals to focus on value rather than sales.” Maxwell noted.
Is your sales team generating success? Maybe it’s time to consider a more authentic approach to demand generation.