Crafting a Resonant Sales Symphony: The Power of Clear Objectives and Goals
In the vast ocean of corporate strategy, the sales department functions much like a ship’s heartbeat, rhythmic and essential, setting the pace for the vessel’s journey. But what, or who calibrates this pulse? How do we ensure that this heart doesn’t race uncontrollably or, worse, skip a beat? CEOs and sales managers would concur that the answer is embedded in well-articulated sales objectives and goals. These are not just arbitrary figures or lofty dreams but are methodically set coordinates guiding the trajectory of sales initiatives.
Imagine, if you will, a vast orchestra. Each instrument represents a member of the sales team. The orchestra’s conductor, analogous to a CEO or sales manager, needs well-composed sheet music, sales objectives, and goals to guide the symphony. Without it, the melody could quickly descend into chaos. Now, consider a ship embarking on a voyage. Its captain sets a destination (the sales objective) and interim stops (sales goals) for resource replenishment. This sequential approach ensures the journey remains on track, no matter how tumultuous the seas are.
Such analogies underscore a simple yet often overlooked truth: the nuances between objectives and goals matter. It’s not just a matter of semantics but strategy. Indeed, companies that distinctively lay out both show a staggering 28% improvement in sales team performance. These figures aren’t mere data points but are a testament to the intertwined psychology and methodology behind sales targets.
However, charting this path is not without its challenges. Aiming too high can be as dangerous as setting sights too low. The former can overshadow the team with an impending sense of inaccessibility, making the climb appear insurmountable. On the other hand, the latter risks inducing a sense of complacency, stifling the potential of a talented sales force.
But how does one strike that impeccable balance? The key, I believe, lies at the intersection of retrospection, analysis, and anticipation. A thorough evaluation of past performances acts as a foundation. For instance, projecting a 50% growth based on the previous year’s 15% without significant infrastructural changes might lean towards fantasy. Furthermore, a finger on the pulse of market trends helps set realistic ambitions. Resources, often a limiting factor, need to be meticulously assessed. Remember, monumental objectives warrant monumental resource allocations. A CEO’s arsenal should also incorporate frontline feedback, an often underutilized yet invaluable asset. And as the sands of the marketplace continually shift, maintaining flexibility in these objectives and goals is paramount.
These defined objectives and goals do more than merely set targets. They breathe life into the organization. They synergize scattered efforts, fostering a culture where ambition thrives, and accountability is cherished. It transforms every deal, every pitch into a cog in the grand machinery of corporate growth.
Setting clear sales objectives and goals is akin to crafting a masterpiece symphony. Each chord, each note, when harmonized, weaves an enchanting melody. CEOs and sales managers, as the chief architects of their organizations, possess the potential to orchestrate this. And in the dynamic dance of sales, where the only constant is change, these well-defined objectives and goals don’t just serve as a compass—they become the essence of the journey. Because the goal, after all, is not just to increase sales but to understand the depth, the method, and the purpose behind it.
In this invigorating episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey dive deep into the realm of competition in sales. From understanding the various forms competition can take to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence in competitive analysis, this episode is packed with insights and actionable advice for sales professionals at all levels.
Key Topics Discussed:
The Essence of Competition in Sales: Why understanding and overcoming your competition is crucial.
Recognizing Different Types of Competition: Beyond direct competitors, why the ‘no decision’ outcome is the hidden enemy.
Leveraging SWOT Analysis: Sean and Kevin’s take on its relevance and how to use it effectively for competitive advantage.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Sales: How tools like Chat GPT can help get a leg up on your competition.
The Importance of Competitive Awareness: Why 57% of companies are at a disadvantage and how not to be one of them.
Kevin: “Every professional sports team watches game film… we’re sales professionals. We should be watching the game film of sorts.”
Sean: “Who is your prospect talking to? That is your competition.”
Kevin: “Doing nothing is unacceptable. It’s like prospecting. If you don’t prospect, that is an unacceptable behavior.”
Sean: “If you’re in a small company right now, you need to figure out, you need to be one of the 43%, not one of the 57%.”
Don’t be a part of the 57% that remains oblivious to their competition. Whether you’re in the early stages of your sales journey or a seasoned professional, Sean and Kevin’s insights from this episode offer invaluable strategies and tools to elevate your game. Tune in to “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales” to get the upper hand, understand your market better, and, ultimately, eliminate your competition.
is starting at your local school and in the NFL. That used to mean that we were in Autumn, but now it means that we are simply in the dog days of summer. I hope the summer has been great for you and the month or so we have left is even more enjoyable.
Have you checked out my podcast? We are a couple of weeks from our 50th episode, and we have had amazing responses. If you have yet to listen, some links later in this newsletter will help you find the podcast.
I hope that you enjoy my latest newsletter.
If you have problems reading this newsletter, please take a look at its online version at .
The Kaivac Impact: Harnessing Faith, Innovation, and Sales Excellence in the Cleaning Industry
Bob Robinson Jr. and his father, Bob Robinson Sr., innovated a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine over two decades ago, leading to the birth of Kaivac, a prominent cleaning machine manufacturer located in Hamilton, OH.
Bob Jr.’s vivid memory
of the struggle of cleaning restrooms by hand sparked the inspiration for Kaivac. From its inception, the company has expanded its range, developing machines for cleaning kitchen floors, hallways, grocery displays, and more. Boasting 18 patents and another 16 pending, Kaivac delved into floor cleaning and spill response machines.
Adopting a hybrid sales approach—direct sales and through distributors—the company has secured major clients like Walmart, Kroger, and Target under the leadership of Bob Jr., the VP of Sales. However, after facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic following a record year, Kaivac
aspired to hit $75 million in annual revenue within three years and aim for a lofty $1 billion within two decades.
ambitions led them to enlist New Sales Expert LLC, spearheaded by CEO Sean O’Shaughnessey, with 38 years of sales expertise. Sean praised Kaivac’s vast untapped potential and the rich culture it was built upon. Rooted in Christian values, the company’s guiding principles are captured in their acronym, FIGS: “First shall be last, last shall be first,” Integrity, Golden Rule, and Servant’s Heart. Moreover, KAI in Kaivac is not just a prefix but a motivational acronym emphasizing continuous
improvement and innovation.
Sean immediately identified areas of improvement, starting with reshaping the compensation plan.
This aimed to motivate the sales team to close bigger deals more efficiently. Using Salesforce, a top-rated CRM, Sean integrated MEDDPICCC—a sales qualification method. He added crucial dashboards and tools like the Decision Timeline to facilitate smooth big-deal closures, further professionalizing the sales process.
But the endgame for New Sales Expert LLC was always to make Kaivac self-reliant. To achieve this, Bob Jr. and three key company leaders enrolled in SalesXceleration’s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean. This program expanded their skill set, prepping them for future revenue growth and
Mike Perazzo, one of the course attendees, was subsequently appointed Executive Vice President of Sales.
Mike credits Sean with refining their sales processes, identifying gaps, and enhancing their efficiency, making him a better sales leader.
Sean O’Shaughnessey lauds Kaivac, not just for their innovative cleaning machines but for their commitment to employee and customer success. He asserts that their machines offer unparalleled value, ensuring cleaner spaces at affordable rates.
Since collaborating with Sean, Kaivac has observed a marked uptick in its revenue and profitability, translating to bonuses for its employees, who the Robinsons view as extended family. Bob Jr. summarizes their journey aptly,
Taking the Sales Agility Assessment is a great starting point for
improving your current sales process. Use the unique report to help you implement new procedures to accelerate growth, revenue, and new sales.
Beers & Biz is an excellent opportunity to connect with other business leaders in the Cincinnati area and join some relevant
conversations about today’s business challenges. It is probably the best networking event in Greater Cincinnati.
If you want to meet other B2B professionals and understand how to solve targeted business problems, this is the event to put on your calendars and attend.
There is no cost to the B2B professional
networking group featuring topical roundtable discussion groups, open networking, and a featured charity. The group meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. We typically talk about business, have a drink (water, soft drinks, beer, and bourbon, too), and learn from each other. We stress networking with business-to-business professionals trying to expand revenue and offer great products and services to businesses.
Our next event is at Xavier’s Center for Innovation at 1605 Dana Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45207, on August 24, so please consider registering. Also, the September event will be on September 28, and I hope that you will put that event on your calendar so that you can find the time to attend.
Please register at
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beers-biz-b2b-networking-tickets-244535701867 to reserve your spot and learn about the locations of future meetings.
Fractional Sales Leadership Increases the Value of My Client by 167%
Several years ago, I was hired by a fantastic software startup company in the artificial intelligence industry. Their technology had roots in original research by one of the founders at MIT. I was connected to one of the founders, and he approached me to be his Fractional Vice President of Sales as they felt that their technology had progressed to the point that they needed to find early adopter customers.
It was a young company with a small client base and very little revenue, but it clearly understood its offering and the value it could deliver to new clients. I
started the engagement with my standard discovery process to identify what value they were providing to their clients or prospective clients. We developed a target persona, and I helped them identify potential clients that fit their use cases.
As I worked with them, I learned more about their backstory. A significant chip manufacturer had wanted to buy the company just a few months earlier. The founders were eager to sell, but the parties couldn’t agree on a price and parted ways. The large chip manufacturer valued the company at about 75% of the valuation that the founders wanted. This offer reminded
me of the popular TV show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs try to arrange investments from 5 individual investors. They rarely agree at the beginning of the segment on the startup’s value; sometimes, they compromise, and sometimes they do not. In this case, the giant chip manufacturer didn’t see the value, just like the Sharks didn’t see the value of Ring.
The owners of my client did what any sound company executives would do. They pushed harder on their business to build its value. They realized that nothing drives the company’s value like revenue and pipeline, so they brought me in to help them.
Fast forward ten months after hiring me, and our pipeline, messaging, sales team, partnerships, and methodologies have improved dramatically. At
this point, another chip manufacturer enters the picture and wants to acquire the company and its technology. But now everything in the company is more proven, and the risk is less for the acquiring company. The owners and the new acquiring company agreed quickly on the company’s value. The company was now worth 200% of what the founders initially thought just the previous year. The deal closed quickly and efficiently, with most employees finding great jobs at the new owner while some continued
with new and exciting adventures.
New customers, pipeline growth, and team growth caused a dramatic increase in the company’s
value. Undoubtedly, the software improved during that year, but much of that improvement was because of customer and prospect feedback. The new chip manufacturer thought the company was worth 267% compared to the previous suitor.
Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Sales Leadership Mastery: How to Coach, Not Micromanage, Your Team – Episode 44
In this engaging episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Sean and Kevin don’t just identify the problems associated with micromanagement but provide actionable insights and solutions for how to evolve into an effective leader. Whether you’re just beginning in sales or leading a team, their candid conversation will offer you strategies to avoid micromanagement, build trust
within your team, and create a culture of success. Don’t miss this chance to learn from two seasoned sales veterans – tune in to this episode and take your sales leadership skills to the next level!
Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Revamping Your Outbound Sales Approach: Value Proposition, Touch Points, and Tactics – Episode 43
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey offer a practical, insightful guide to successfully navigating outbound sales in our new normal. They share their expertise in creating a compelling, unique value proposition, omnichannel outreach’s importance, and persistence’s role in sales. You’ll gain a wealth of
advice, from understanding your value in a specific industry to leveraging various outreach tools to streamline and enhance your prospecting process. Listen to this episode for a deep dive into the tactics and strategies that can reshape your approach to outbound sales.
New Sales Expert LLC helps SMB companies
accelerate their revenue growth by helping them setup systems and best practices to bring products to market more effectively and develop new sales.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected your company’s
sales, you are not alone. As a veteran sales leader, I utilize my expertise to help companies in times of trouble by building the sales systems, processes and accountability you need to create record-breaking growth. If the past has taught me anything, it is that those that develop a plan-ahead strategy will far surpass their competitors once the crisis is over.
My goal is to drive sales growth. I do this with Sales Xceleration’s proven system that focuses on creating record-breaking sales for your company, defined in these 3 steps:
Create a Sales Plan 2. Find Your Best Customers 3. Grow Your Sales
My book, Eliminate Your Competition, is available wherever books are sold
Most salespeople lose the deal before they ever get started! It isn’t uncommon for the customer to have already made a decision before most salespeople even learn of the opportunity. Most salespeople must beat the preferred competitor by a significant margin just to be considered equivalent. Don’t you wish that you could be the preferred vendor for all of your opportunities?
Selling is a difficult career in which to make a living; it is not uncommon to have the commission check denied before the salesperson even gets a chance to win.
Analysis of thousands of sales situations has made it phenomenally obvious that most salespeople begin their sales campaign so late in the decision-making process that they are virtually guaranteed to lose the order. To make matters worse, when they do start the campaign early enough, most salespeople do not know how to control the prospect adequately so that they can guarantee their victory.
You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers, such as
Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at retailers like Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.
CEO and President
New Sales Expert LLC [email protected]
Welcome to another exciting episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales with hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey. This episode delves into the vital world of outbound sales in a post-COVID landscape. We discuss strategies for creating an effective outbound pipeline, reflecting on our experiences with trade shows, and how to nail your unique value proposition. Discover how to master omnichannel outreach and understand why persistence is key in today’s competitive market.
Key Topics Discussed:
The Trade Show Experience: Kevin and Sean open up about the highs and lows of trade shows and how the pandemic has shifted the industry’s focus from this traditional method of sales and marketing.
Creating an Effective Outbound Pipeline: Our hosts emphasize the importance of having a clear, unique value proposition and understanding how it can resonate with your potential customers.
Omni Channel Outreach: Kevin and Sean highlight the significance of reaching out to prospects across various channels – emails, phone calls, social media, and even traditional mail. They discuss the need for persistence in reaching out and making numerous touches to get a prospect’s attention.
Prospecting and Value Proposition: Sean shares insights on how a value proposition can differ based on the industry and target audience. They talk about understanding and tailoring your value proposition to your audience for better customer engagement.
Leveraging Tools for Sales Outreach: The hosts discuss a range of tools that can assist in streamlining and tracking your outreach efforts, from LinkedIn prospecting tools to CRMs and even task management tools.
Kevin: “Trade shows in a pre COVID environment were the lifeblood of many sales organizations… But here we are in a post-COVID world, and what we saw in the midst of COVID was pipeline evacuation.”
Sean: “The first thing I tell everybody is, “What are you going to say, and what makes it unique and valuable to your prospects?”
Sean: “Your unique value proposition may be targeted to a specific customer and you might have a different one targeted to a different customer… but then you need to make unique messaging for every one of those and unique tries for each one of those.”
LinkedIn prospecting tools
Task management tools (Asana, Trello, Monday.com)
In this episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey offer a practical, insightful guide to successfully navigating outbound sales in our new normal. They share their expertise in creating a compelling, unique value proposition, omnichannel outreach’s importance, and persistence’s role in sales. You’ll gain a wealth of advice, from understanding your value in a specific industry to leveraging various outreach tools to streamline and enhance your prospecting process. Listen to this episode for a deep dive into the tactics and strategies that can reshape your approach to outbound sales.
Bob Robinson, Jr., and his mechanical-engineer father, Bob Robinson, Sr., came up with the idea for a product the world truly needed 25 years ago: a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine. Their company, Kaivac, is a Hamilton, OH-based manufacturer of cleaning machines. Hamilton is a suburb of Cincinnati, OH.
“We were on our hands and knees, crawling around the bathroom,” recalls Bob, Jr. “It was disgusting. We said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.'”
Through hard work and dedication, the Robinsons created the KaiVac to help solve that initial problem in public restrooms. Over the years, they grew the idea to create dedicated machines to clean kitchen floors, hallway floors, and grocery displays. Beyond its bathroom cleaning technology, it has expanded into floor cleaning and spill response machines and has 18 patents with 16 pending.
Along with growing their manufacturing capabilities, they also grew their sales capabilities. They adopted a hybrid strategy of selling through distribution and selling directly to key customers. Their direct team, under the leadership of Bob Robinson, Jr., who had taken on the role of VP of Sales, closed many enviable customers with massive deals, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target.
They realized that they needed to step up their sales professionalism after having a down year during COVID after having a record-breaking year the year before. They wanted to grow to $75 million in annual revenue within three years and a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of $1 billion in annual revenue within 20 years.
Bob Jr. says Kaivac is just getting started. “At 20 to 25 years in business, you’re at an inflection point where you’ve got resources, tenure, and history and have been through ‘adolescence,'” he says. “Now is the chance to build a professionalized organization.”
They contacted New Sales Expert LLC as the nation was coming out of the global pandemic, but before all the supply chain problems had paused. New Sales Expert LLC is a fractional vice president of sales consultancy. Sean O’Shaughnessey, the CEO of New Sales Expert, is aligned with SalesXceleration and has 38 years of experience in sales and sales management.
According to Sean, “Kaivac is a joy to work with. They are the shining star of Hamilton, OH, and Butler County. They had so much raw potential when I walked in the door; all I had to do was to focus their energy and enthusiasm on working smarter and just a little harder.”
Building an organization with a heart
Kaivac had a great culture to build on to make a great sales culture. Before Sean showed up, the company leadership had already developed their One-Page Strategic Plan and their “Why?” statement that reflects the owners’ Christian faith: “To glorify God by using KAIVAC as an instrument for Good.”
In addition to the “Why?” statement, they had drafted an acronym called FIGS that conveys the “heart” of the company. FIGS—which appears on signs that hang on the factory floor and in break rooms—stands for
F: “First shall be last, last shall be first.”
I: Integrity—as in “The truth shall set you free.”
G: Golden Rule—meaning “treat others how you want to be treated.”
S: Servant’s Heart, as in “We are in a race to help people.”
The company uses the first three letters of its name–KAI–to inspire the team’s thinking and actions. These letters stand for inspiring phrases such as: “Keep At It,” “Keep Always Improving,” “Keep Attempting the Impossible,” and “(creates) Kick-Ass Inventions.”
Prioritizing net income and growth
Sean’s first change was to make a compensation plan that motivated the sales team to sell bigger deals and to sell them quickly. Kaivac implemented a 50/50 plan in concert with defined territories to keep the Key Account salespeople focused on the goal of more significant and profitable orders.
After the motivation component was in place, it was time to help the team learn how to sell big deals more repeatedly. The big deals of the past had been challenging to work on and, while very profitable, had been disruptive to close. Sean encouraged the company to read John McMahon’s book, “The Qualified Sales Leader,” and with that tome as inspiration, quickly deployed MEDDPICCC to help them qualify deals.
MEDDPICCC by itself is not enough. The company had already licensed Salesforce, one of the highest-rated CRMs on the market, but Sean put MEDDPICCC into the various stages of the sales process to ensure that the salespeople knew all the required information about a big deal. Sean also created dashboards within Salesforce to track deal progress at the management level. The company implemented Sales Plans for Key Accounts and the Power Matrix to document the most influential people in the customer’s decision-making process.
The very first big deals that the company found after Sean started to help them also benefited from the Decision Timeline. The Decision Timeline is a tool to allow the sales team to walk through the entire decision-making process of the customer to understand all of the steps required to make a significant investment decision. It allowed frank and honest conversations to take place with the prospect as the team worked to close the largest deal in the company’s history to date.
Time to run on their own
As with most of the assignments with New Sales Expert, LLC, the goal is to allow the company to run independently. Bob Robinson Jr. was the company’s VP of Sales. Still, he needed to shed those responsibilities to help run the entire company. To finish the transition, Bob and three of his leaders took SalesXceleration‘s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean O’Shaughnessey.
The Certified Sales Leader (CSL) designation is the country’s most comprehensive sales leadership certification program offered. CSL leadership training and certification will prepare you with the analytical, tactical, and strategic sales management skills needed to drive revenue growth now…and into the future. CSL training expands the skill set of a Sales Manager by providing coaching, techniques, and tools to lead a successful sales team.
All four Kaivac leaders passed the CSL test. One of them, Mike Perazzo, was tagged to take over as Executive Vice President of Sales. According to Mike, “Sean is a master coach for helping shape sales process and methodology. Following his methods will help grow sales faster, transactionally, and strategically. Often a couple of pieces of the puzzle are missing, and Sean helps quickly identify them.
You have everything to gain by having Sean look at your current approach. He is a change agent and disruptive to the status quo. Pushing the pace and flow of deals is his sweet spot. I am a better sales leader because of my time with him.”
Sean O’Shaughnessey of New Sales Expert, LLC states, “Kaivac is a wonderful company. They have created a line of machines that gives pride to the workers in one of the toughest jobs in America – keeping things clean. They are focused on the success of their customers and their employees. They had all of the raw skills within their sales team to be a great sales organization; they only needed me to focus them on activities and techniques that allowed them to close bigger deals faster and at a higher profit level.”
“If anyone works in a clean building with clean restrooms and hard surface floors, they are either cleaning it with Kaivac technology or paying too much for that cleanliness,” Sean explains.
Revenue and profitability have grown since Sean helped Kaivac develop a higher level of sales professionalism. Recent results have shown a dramatic increase in revenue and profitability. The sales and revenue growth have allowed the entire family of Kaivac to prosper. The Robinsons have always considered their employees an extension of their family. The company’s prosperity is passed along to team members through a bonus structure for the whole company. It all fits into the spirit of Kaivac. Bob Jr. says, “Our organization was built to have heart.”
Every successful sales process relies on a deep understanding of the many moving parts within the targeted organization. Key among these are the internal influencers who can significantly shape the trajectory of your sales campaign. In the realm of sales, two roles stand out: ‘Coaches’ and ‘Champions.’ Both can impact your process differently, so a firm grasp on who they are, what they do, and how to engage with them can be pivotal for your sales success.
MEDDPICCC is an evolution of the MEDDIC sales qualification methodology that’s proven to be particularly effective for B2B enterprise sales organizations. At its core, the MEDDPICCC methodology aids organizations in ensuring they are working on the right deals and concentrating their efforts effectively to secure wins.
MEDDPICCC extends the MEDDIC acronym to include an additional ‘P’ for Paper Process, ‘C’ for Competition, and ‘C’ for Coach. The inclusion of the ‘Paper Process’ reflects the increased complexity in technology purchasing compared to the past. Factors such as the shift from perpetual licenses to subscription agreements and enhanced data security and privacy requirements have intensified the contractual obligations between vendor and customer. Consequently, the ‘Paper Process’ has emerged as a significant factor influencing sellers’ forecasts, warranting its inclusion in the methodology.
The second addition, ‘Competition,’ acknowledges the intensified competitive landscape in the current era. Competition can come from various sources: new companies emerging rapidly with the help of modern technology, other vendors vying for the same budget and resources, potential in-house solutions, or the choice to maintain the status quo. Understanding and navigating these competitive elements are critical to a seller’s forecast accuracy and deal success, thus necessitating the inclusion of ‘Competition’ in MEDDPICCC.
The third addition to MEDDPICCC is ‘Coach,’ and it is added to understand that there are frequently those people in an organization that will give you knowledge and advice about the sales opportunity, but they do not rise to the level of a Champion. One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is confusing a Coach with a Champion. They may be your advocate and are pushing your product or service to other influencers in the account, but don’t let that confuse you. Without true power and the ability to sway the final decision with the Economic Buyer, you merely have an influencer. Let’s make no mistake; a Coach is also very important in a deal. They are a “guide” that you typically have more access to and can generate imperative touchpoints that help keep the deal moving forward.
In essence, MEDDPICCC is a comprehensive, strategic framework that equips sales teams with the necessary tools and insights to identify and pursue the most promising opportunities effectively, navigate the intricate contractual landscape, and outperform the competition. By adopting and mastering the MEDDPICCC methodology, less experienced salespeople can enhance their sales performance and contribute significantly to their organization’s success.
As B2B-focused businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape of a post-COVID economy, sales leaders must adopt and institute strategies to meet the demands of a business in growth or recovery mode.
While the goal for a sales organization may be to sustain the growth trajectory aligned with organizational goals, the year-over-year approach to achieving success can vary significantly. Sales leadership styles depend on the current situation, the starting point, and the existing team charged to accomplish the goal. Good sales leaders find a way to achieve the annual goal; great sales leaders find ways to achieve the goal and systemize the process to allow for repeatable growth, pivots, and rapid scale.
Growth Focused Leadership
Sales leaders focused on growth must proactively identify new market opportunities, verticals, geographies, platforms, or sales talent. They must invest in new sales channels and technologies, along with onboarding and training programs to support the growth of their sales teams and the acquisition of new client relationships.
When sales teams are in a breakout stage of growth, it can be challenging to gain the discipline to systems and alignment on processes and approaches due to the nature of managing client expectations on a wildly rising revenue outlook. This situation demands that all of the skills of a sales leader be applied consistently and strategically across the team and sales practices.
Seasoned leaders know that hiring for an increased workload and rapidly scaling teams can be tempting. However, this approach can often lead to problems down the line. Further, we must suppress the desire to hire quickly instead of exercising patience in finding the right candidate to continue to scale teams and culture appropriately. That patience means we must endure the short-term challenges of being under-resourced and under a great deal of pressure to keep performing as if we already had the resources on the team. Instead, it is essential to focus on finding the right candidate who will not only be able to handle the current workload but also contribute to your team’s culture and help your organization achieve long-term success. Take the time to vet candidates carefully and consider not only their skills and experience but also their values and how they fit into your team’s dynamic. By prioritizing quality over speed, you’ll set your team up for success in the long run.
Another important consideration when building a team is to prioritize scalability. It’s easy to get caught up in your organization’s immediate needs and hire for the present moment, but it’s crucial to think about how your team will grow and evolve. Look for candidates with the potential to take on new responsibilities and leadership roles as your organization expands. Consider investing in training and professional development programs to help your team members acquire new skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. By prioritizing scalability, you’ll be better equipped to adapt to changing business needs and continue to achieve success over the long term.
Discipline to proven systems is essential for leadership and having transparent KPIs and organizational goal communications. The rigor and discipline of a sales leader in a growth cycle are particularly demanding. One primary concern for leaders in this mode is talent loss due to competitive pressures to grab your resources for their growth. It would help if you had experience and discipline for these growth moments.
In this thought-provoking podcast, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey dive into the challenges salespeople face when their sales process doesn’t align with the buyer’s journey. Using the example of a beer industry manufacturer, they explore the difficulties encountered when dealing with prospects who are only interested in the price and user count and how this can lead to feeling like a commodity. This insightful discussion underscores the importance of adapting to the buyer’s journey to sell more effectively.
As the conversation continues, Sean and Kevin emphasize the need to understand the buyer’s process, from recognizing the signs of a good prospect to determining the right time to buy. They highlight the importance of asking the right questions, listening to the buyer, and identifying their current position in the evaluation process. The hosts also discuss the concept of commercial teaching, which involves meeting prospects at their level of knowledge about the industry, solution, or product.
In addition, the duo addresses the challenge of long sales cycles and the factors that contribute to them, such as not understanding where the buyer is in their journey or not setting up for success earlier in the sales process. They encourage salespeople to be self-reflective and analyze their pipelines, identifying deals that may be stuck or taking longer than expected due to a lack of alignment with the buyer’s journey.
Furthermore, Kevin and Sean touch upon the importance of knowing the buyer persona, recognizing that different people within an organization have different perspectives and needs. By understanding the type of person you’re speaking with, salespeople can connect more quickly and effectively.
The podcast concludes with a challenge for salespeople to be introspective and consider how they can better align their sales process with the buyer’s journey for improved results.
In this inspiring episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” the hosts, Sean and Kevin, welcome Jim Hardwick, Chief Community Officer for Sales Xceleration and Fractional VP of Sales.
As a seasoned sales professional with 36 years of experience in healthcare, Jim shares his journey from climbing the corporate ladder to finding purpose and joy in his current role. He attributes his newfound happiness to a paradigm shift towards serving others, a realization sparked by a life-changing trip to Kenya, where he and his wife started a dental clinic.
Discussing the importance of servant leadership in building better sales organizations, Jim emphasizes the impact of serving clients, employees, and the community. He believes that when business owners and sales leaders focus on understanding and helping their employees achieve their goals and aspirations, the entire organization benefits. This approach creates a positive work environment that fosters employee loyalty and drives business growth.
Moreover, Jim stresses the significance of actively listening to employees, valuing their input, and being open to change. Servant leadership, according to Jim, extends beyond grand gestures; it encompasses small acts of kindness and attentiveness, creating a ripple effect that ultimately comes back to the giver tenfold.
In this engaging conversation, Jim Hardwick leaves the audience with the powerful message of giving freely without keeping score and embracing a mentality of service instead of taking. His uplifting stories and passion for serving others will surely inspire listeners to adopt a more intentional and compassionate approach in their personal and professional lives.