At Bravado, we have the privilege of talking to the best in the business on a daily basis. Our podcast (The Future of Sales - have you listened?) is one of our favorite opportunities to dive deeply on all things selling. Below are seven quotes we particularly love, and more importantly, that make us think about how to really drive the future of sales:
Morgan J. Ingram, Director of Sales Evolution at John Barrows
"The content that you make can actually change someone's life, make them move forward, get them promoted, and get them a job."
Take away: This impacts what you do every day when you sell. Sales professionals provide a service, and that service may be the reason someone hits a marketing goal, moves a business forward, or cuts costs to improve a bottom line. There are few things as fulfilling as helping others, and by adopting this mindset, that's exactly what sales can be about.
Eric Martin, Sr. Account Executive at Datafox
"At the end of the day, even when I'm buying a plane ticket, there are some specific questions that I wish I could ask a human. And so, while I agree that there are maybe diminishing roles for the people part, I think that having educated, respectful, considerate human beings on the other end will forever be an asset to a company."
Take away: There is a lot of talk about AI stealing jobs from humans, especially in sales, but Eric makes a great point. Think about your own life, and remember that speaking to an expert can still provide a lot of value when making purchasing decisions. If you remind yourself often that a person-to-person connection is important, then each conversation you have with a buyer can instantly be more meaningful.
"Every good CEO needs to begin as a salesperson."
Take away: Despite the lack of formal academic sales programs, selling is an invaluable skill. It's important to learn empathy in business relationships, how to benevolently negotiate, and all the tactical things sales teaches like consistent follow up and the important of a deep product knowledge. Whether you stay in sales or eventually start your own business, everything you learn in your job now will be helpful in the future.
Dailius Wilson, VP of Sales at GetAccept
"People hate salespeople up until the point that they actually get something from them. And then they're actually going to love the salesperson more than anyone."
Take away: Ask yourself, "How can I provide value to my prospect prior to the transaction?" Examples include sharing in-depth, unbiased knowledge on your industry, or sending a piece of literature to a contact you think they might appreciate. This will not only create a warmer sales process, but possibly even shift the conversation when it comes time to negotiate contract terms.
Brian Signorelli, Director of Global Partnerships at Hubspot
"My message for any sales rep today is if you are following the playbook that a bunch of other sales reps before you have followed, you're probably not doing it the right way.'"
Take away: There are countless thought pieces (current reading notwithstanding) and lists about the best ways to conduct sales activitites. The fact, as Brian alludes to, is that you bring something unique to the table. You weren't hired because you can Google the Top Ten Tips For Closing A Deal. You were hired because you're an individual. Put your creativity into high gear to drive towards success.
Brian Gerrard, Director of Sales at Outreach
"I hear it all the time: 'How my sales rep treats me is how I think my entire relationship with the company is going to be.'"
Take away: Point blank - you are an ambassador of your organization. Remember that every time you write an email, take a call, or administer a meeting. (This is especially important to keep in mind when you're having a suboptimal day! It will keep you present, and provide a boost of energy when you are feeling like the tank is low.)
Garrett Leigh, Director of Sales at Springbot
"I think every single call or meeting is an opportunity to demolish the stigma of sales."
Take away: We particularly love this quote at Bravado, where we are trying to change the perception of the sales profession. When you're feeling tired, overworked, or having a rough quarter, remember - you're doing something bigger than selling a product. You're seizing an opportunity to make professional life better for millions of people who are also out there selling.
Patrick Campbell, Co-Founder & CEO at ProfitWell
"The way you compensate people has a lot of power."
Take away: Sales leaders, this is an important one to noodle on. What motivates your team? What are you rewarding them for? Money talks, and if you want to change seller behavior, then maybe it's worth examining your organization's compensation structure. We're not suggesting throw the commission baby out with the bathwater, but maybe start small. Goodwill spiffs or bonuses based on customer renewals to ensure than your sales team is closing the right types of deals can go far.
Final thought: Wisdom from experts is invaluable, and we were inspired by the Dreamforce breakout sessions when we put this post together.
Are you headed to Dreamforce this year? Check out our recommendations for eating, exercising, and experiencing some of the best of what San Francisco has to offer. Share with friends!