Sales: Expectations vs. Reality During Crisis
There is no doubt that we are living in one of the biggest economies and humanitarian crises in our history. Many companies are going down fast and many people are losing jobs. So, as a result, they may think that a career in sales may be a good move.
We have all been there. When a crisis happens (the last one was in 2008), many industries hit hard and as a result many people will lose their jobs.
So, naturally, they may think about what to do next and what will be their next step in their life. In fact, this might be a great opportunity for people to sit down and have a look at their lives and the decisions they made in the past that led them to this point.
Many may think of shifting their career into something new.
And sales always will be a great option to think about.
However . . .
Let’s be realistic. There are many myths around sales and consultative B2B sales especially in tech space that we need to cover. This way, those people who are thinking of moving to sales, will have a realistic understanding of what to expect and what to do in the future.
This blog post is not only for those experienced people who want to move to sales, but also for new grads that are thinking of pursuing a career in sales without prior experience.
So let’s dive in . . .
If you are in B2B sales, things will be different. You have to be like Iron Man. Very strong and patience as you are building your pipeline. In these types of complex sales, the minimum sales cycle might be 6 months. Meaning, you are not going to get your fist sales during this initial 6 months.
Unless you have a strong pipeline from the past that you can close earlier.
Focus on building pipeline rather than closing fast.
If you close fast, soon you will have a pipeline to fill which is now getting harder.
However, if you put your focus on pipeline building, you are creating a sustainable future for yourself and your company to have a predictable growth.
Remember, pipeline . . . pipeline . . . pipeline . . .
There is a myth in the sales world, especially for those who are not in sales, that salespeople are a bunch of liers and they only think about themselves and their commission!
Well . . .
Let’s face it. We have bad people in every industry. So if somebody did something bad to you, does not mean others in that industry share the same habits.
If a salesperson has lied to you before, does not mean all salespeople share the same habits.
I rarely see something like this. Majority of salespeople are coming from different backgrounds and understand what it means to be a great human being . . .
Plus, the majority of B2B sales roles are not a loner wolf job. Many people should contribute to the sales so that you can win the deal. So prepare yourself for lot of collaboration . . .
Sales is hard. But it is not impossible.
There are lots of skills that you need to be mastered so you be considered successful sales.
The good news is these skills are all learn-able. Meaning, if you spend time and effort on these, you can easily master these skills. No doubt.
But, you need to be the type of person who wants to change, who is not afraid of hard discussions and getting feedback.
If this is you, sales can be a suitable shift.
Nobody wants to talk to a salesperson
Correct, if you are a low performer!
Nobody wants to talk to a mediocre who does not know his shit!
If you decide to become a high performer and genuinely want to help people and businesses, and also master the product or service that you want to sell, many people and of course your buyers want to talk to you.
They are actually happy to wait in line or behind closed doors so that they can ask you questions.
So do not be mediocre. Aim for the top.
I cannot work towards a target
Many people think that targets are for them to be trapped. Meaning, if they miss targets the life is over, and also the pressure of hitting the target is unbearable for them.
The reality is does not matter what profession or what job you are currently working. You must have a target. If you do not have a target, there is no way you can measure your progress in your job, and of course, without progress, you area dead!
So, be pleased to work towards a target as it helps you measure how strong you are when it comes to sales.
In addition, many companies are not set for success. I have seen bizarre things in the industry that does not matter how much you try . . . you always fail!
This does not always apply to sales reps. But also to sales managers as well.
Here is an infographic for expectations vs reality for sales managers and leaders.