Why? Because sales is the catalyst driving change at today’s best companies.
Ever since I started in sales 25 years ago there has been one constant. Change. I’ve always wondered if I should change my job title on my business card from “Sales Executive” to “Change Maker”.
I’ve just seen the statement on LinkedIn “IDC estimates the total addressable market for Digital Transformation to be $4.5 trillion over the next five years.”.
Now I’m sure how the modern world deniers can continue to not expect that the modern world is here and that has meant a change with the past. It would seem there are people that deny the internet exists and they deny mobile phones exist and they deny social media exists, or how else can some people still make the statement that nothing in sales has changed?
It does not matter if the IDC forecast is correct, by it’s very nature it is a forecast and therefore it will be wrong, but even if it’s 10% right. That is a massive amount of change for business and these are business that you are trying to sell and market to.
I started in sales, pre-internet, writing letters out on a pad of paper and handing them to a typing pool. Through to getting my first 386 laptop. Even in those days people having emails was not common place. The way you got hold of people was by sending them letters. It seems archaic now, but a great example on how things have changed. Sorry to bore you with my life story, but sales has changed and will continue to change.
I’ve always worked in “new business”, which has meant building trusting relationships with people, quickly. In most cases today as sales people we are required to be the agents of change, change makers. What do I mean?
My career has been built on selling accounting solutions or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) as suppliers call it. In all the instances I’ve needed to provide a reason for the organisation to change. There will have been an old, legacy, accounting system in place. But change is disruptive, sometimes the systems were written in-house and the original programmers were still in role. Or more recently, there was an on-premise system that had cost millions if not billions to implement and it was my task to convince people that they could get a better and cheaper experience by moving to the cloud. What would happen to the in-house support team?
Again this is about change. Crafting a cast iron business case, proving this out the IT (project and support) team the Finance Team, Architecture, the end users either in departments or at different operating companies (op cos). This requires master resources across the prospective client and our own supplier companies so we are aligning our resources.
This requires us in sales to be agents of change, change makers maybe should be our job title. If you haven’t read it then Deb Calvert has a great book “Stop Selling and Start Leading”.
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