TOPIC - A decade of lessons
The Sandler Sales Team - Success in Sales
(Originally published in the September 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal)
I was 16 when my parents Eldon and Anne MacKeigan started Sandler Training Nova Scotia. Over the years, I’ve had the joy of experiencing many aspects of the sales business while sitting in on sessions during school breaks, becoming a President’s Club member in my first sales role, and joining the company in 2009.
In celebration of Sandler Nova Scotia’s 10th anniversary this year, I wanted to share some of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned — lessons I believe are key to individual and company “success in sales”.
• Never assume someone isn’t suited to be a salesperson: Some of the greatest salespeople I’ve encountered were the most unsuspecting individuals you’d ever meet. When I first got into the business I met a quiet technician who had just moved into the sales department and began his career in business development. No one would have guessed that this unassuming guy would turn out to be one of the top salespeople his company ever had; in fact, the first to sell over $1 million in a year. He wasn’t chatty, he wasn’t particularly outgoing — all the things you would normally assume a salesperson would be. What he did have was professionalism, ambition and a system. He had a process for selling. When you have a process, there are no limits to what you can achieve.
• Abide by “Ancora Imparo”: This means “I am still learning” in Latin, and it’s on a plaque that hangs by the door as you enter the Sandler Training centre. Everyone has room for improvement. There are always new things to learn, new advancements and changes in the marketplace to educate yourself about. Whether you’ve been in sales for two months or 20 years, if you believe you know everything, you’re standing in the way of your own success.
• Focus on speaking the “same language”: The most successful companies I have encountered are those that speak the same language. All departments recognize what the others’ objectives and goals are. They use the same systems and everyone understands how business is brought in and nurtured. Whenever I run into businesses that tell me they’re struggling, it’s often because each department works independently and is unaware of the systems in other departments. When management, accounting, marketing, sales, operations and customer service are focused on increasing top line revenue and live in a sales-focused culture, success is inevitable.
By Megan MacKeigan, Sandler Training
©2012 Sandler Training Inc. (www.atlantic.sandler.com) is an international sales and management training/consulting firm. For a free copy of Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do about It, call Sandler Training at (902) 468-8879 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org