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

Episode · 7 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 you for 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 a far different tone than which are used to, especially from our typical podcast, because I'm joined today by our own sales carmudgeon. For those of you who followed our block series for a while, you know that the sales curmudgeon is a military veteran, sales management veteran who has suffered countless sales campaigns. It's pretty direct. Apologies in advance. Thanks, Rachel, but no need to apologize. What I found is that tough law is often the best way to help people out, especially when most of their wounds or self inflicted. If you're about to launch a major sales initiatives such as a new crm, you just 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's not 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 careers with it. If you blow it, you're going to blow it for yourself and for those around you. The second problem is that it spoils the environment for other projects in close proximity. In the world of demolitions, we used to call it sympathetic detonation. The failure of one initiative tends to make people cynical about other ones. So, say your sales messaging project fails, what are 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 down the 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 realist Rachel, 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 I would counteract that and say that that makes me the smart one. Don't answer that. I also have edit capabilities. Yeah, anyway, in my experience, the most common reason it sales initiatives fail is that the exacts don't have the courage to lead from the front. Instead, they delegate to people who have no real authority to make things happen. Yeah, they voice token support for the project and then half baked their involvement, but then they add kicks in, they lose interest and someone else is left holding the bag. To make matters worse, they complain about the results, or what I call they stabbed the wounded. They criticize those who are desperately trying to do their bidding, and then, at that point, the only hope laughed is what I call the Miracle Cloud. The Miracle Cloud.

Yeah, it goes something like this. Hey everyone, I'm the executive sponsor for global sales initiatives. That's totally foo bar, found up beyond all recognition. And then a miracle happens, suddenly, spontaneously and with no effort on my part. It's a smashing success. 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. How do 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 is what I call management by the last book I read, which is a close cousin to management by the last person I...

...had a beer with. You read the introduction and maybe the first chapter of some Trendy Sales Management Book, and then you lose your mind over the latest buzz words like challenger, sales motion social selling. The result is that you whip saw your troops by changing priorities every few weeks. So what you're saying is that you may really need a new 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 book of the month club is going to change the way people do things. But the 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 a fundamental change. So lead from the front. Yep, lead from the front. Don't stab the wounded and get out of the Miracle Cloud. Just come down the earth with the rest of US...

...hard working souls. Well, we appreciate that. Thanks for joining us, Mr Sales Curmudgeon, for our first podcast 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're enjoying these podcasts, please be sure to subscribe on Itunes.

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