The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 6 years ago

Sales Curmudgeon - Lead from the Front


The Sales Curmudgeon provides his best tips for driving sales initiative success.

Hello, I'm Rachel Club Miller,the director of digital engagement at force management, a growth play company. Thank youfor downloading this podcast on sales transformation. Today we're going to have some radical, frank talk on driving a successful sales initiative. It may have afar different tone than which are used to, especially from our typical podcast, becauseI'm joined today by our own sales carmudgeon. For those of you whofollowed our block series for a while, you know that the sales curmudgeon isa military veteran, sales management veteran who has suffered countless sales campaigns. It'spretty direct. Apologies in advance. Thanks, Rachel, but no need to apologize. What I found is that tough law is often the best way tohelp people out, especially when most of their wounds or self inflicted. Ifyou're about to launch a major sales initiatives such as a new crm, youjust have to know the chancers are pretty high that you're going to fail miserably, and that's the bad news. The good news is I know why.Well, there's the the frank talk that...

...we're talking about, but really,nobody out there is launching a sales initiative with the attent to fail. That'snot what drives it. Right. They don't think that they're going to fail. So so what's going on? There's two problems with the failed initiatives.The first is that failure rarely flies below the radar. It takes people's careerswith it. If you blow it, you're going to blow it for yourselfand for those around you. The second problem is that it spoils the environmentfor other projects in close proximity. In the world of demolitions, we usedto call it sympathetic detonation. The failure of one initiative tends to make peoplecynical about other ones. So, say your sales messaging project fails, whatare the chances that your sales process project will be taken seriously? Right,you've launched one initiative, it fails. Now you're ready to take everyone downthe road of a new initiative. They're probably not expecting much success with it, and that's why we call you the...

Carmudgeon, a carmudgin or a realistRachel, depends on how many of these things you've been through. Plus,you're in marketing and I'm in sales. Well, that's true, but Iwould counteract that and say that that makes me the smart one. Don't answerthat. I also have edit capabilities. Yeah, anyway, in my experience, the most common reason it sales initiatives fail is that the exacts don't havethe courage to lead from the front. Instead, they delegate to people whohave no real authority to make things happen. Yeah, they voice token support forthe project and then half baked their involvement, but then they add kicksin, they lose interest and someone else is left holding the bag. Tomake matters worse, they complain about the results, or what I call theystabbed the wounded. They criticize those who are desperately trying to do their bidding, and then, at that point, the only hope laughed is what Icall the Miracle Cloud. The Miracle Cloud.

Yeah, it goes something like this. Hey everyone, I'm the executive sponsor for global sales initiatives. That'stotally foo bar, found up beyond all recognition. And then a miracle happens, suddenly, spontaneously and with no effort on my part. It's a smashingsuccess. Everyone instantly adapts the new sales process and our sales productivity doubles overnight. I am so proud of myself. Definitely a miracle. Yeah, well, miracles do happen, but not in the world of sales enablement, unfortunately. Even though your communion, I will say that that's probably true. Howdo we avoid the Miracle Cloud? Three words, lead from the front.That's for shut up, Rachel. Sorry. Okay, back to the topic.Why else do sales sales projects run aground? Another common land mine iswhat I call management by the last book I read, which is a closecousin to management by the last person I...

...had a beer with. You readthe introduction and maybe the first chapter of some Trendy Sales Management Book, andthen you lose your mind over the latest buzz words like challenger, sales motionsocial selling. The result is that you whip saw your troops by changing prioritiesevery few weeks. So what you're saying is that you may really need anew sales motion. There may be something that's driving effort. That's that's valid, but you should know what you're saying before you stir everything up. Exactly. There's plenty of fools out there who no. IIVELY assumed that a bookof the month club is going to change the way people do things. Butthe problem is that they're parroting with some research analyst tells them to say,rather than understanding what's really going on and all that is required to make afundamental change. So lead from the front. Yep, lead from the front.Don't stab the wounded and get out of the Miracle Cloud. Just comedown the earth with the rest of US...

...hard working souls. Well, weappreciate that. Thanks for joining us, Mr Sales Curmudgeon, for our firstpodcast in the sales commudgeon series. Thank you to all of you for listening. Be sure to connect with us on Linkedin and twitter, and if you'reenjoying these podcasts, please be sure to subscribe on Itunes.

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