When I ask sales leaders about their strategy for growth, more often than not they tell me it is simply to hire experienced salespeople. But really that just means recruiting resources rather than taking a true strategic approach.
In addition, sales leaders also tell me that sales coaching of their teams is not consistently needed because, again, they’re hiring experienced salespeople who don’t need coaching. My argument, though, would be that experienced salespeople need coaching more than anyone else.
But on top of it all, I also increasingly hear from experienced salespeople that, year over year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve their sales targets.
All too often businesses rely on experienced salespeople, and the leveraging of their existing networks and client bases, to gain referrals and expand the business. These salespeople are offered minimal support with the excuse that they’re instead provided “sales autonomy”–but are such salespeople actually being imprisoned in their own experience?
It is believed by many sales leaders that experienced salespeople are generally more effective due to their confidence. But sales leaders and salespeople alike underestimate the fact that such experience and confidence can seriously limit their sales performance.
There is a famous saying that goes, “If you do what you have always done, you get what you always got.” But I would argue that as the law of diminishing returns comes into effect, you actually get less.
Salespeople working for your competition who engage in collaborative strategic planning, and who are consistently coached and use modern sales support tools, will ultimately infiltrate your market and steal your prospects–or, worse, your clients.
It often happens that an experienced salesperson’s diminishing results get wrongly blamed on the company’s lack of of competitive products or solutions. It can also happens such declining sales get blamed on the salesperson’s lack of effort, which then results in an inevitable parting of the ways.
The experienced salesperson goes on to join another, company and generally implements the same approach – seeking to lure their contacts away from their previous provider. But you can only drop your bucket in the same “referral well” so many times before the well dries up.
The so-called experienced sales person spirals into a downward cycle, caused by a lack of new ideas and skill development, until they fall into a chasm they will struggle to get out of. As a result, the so-called experienced sales person starts to become less effective. They start to flounder. Have they become a prisoner of their own experience?
So how can sales leaders and experienced salespeople avoid imprisonment and reinvigorate their ability to rise above foreboding mediocrity?
There are three clear ways that a sales person’s experience can be unshackled and leveraged to provide greater sales freedom and an abundance of sales opportunities:
1 – Collaborative Strategic Planning
Sales leaders who facilitate annual strategic planning workshops with their experienced sales teams are able to review and generate powerful ideas that the team can now leverage for greater sales success.
Rather than assume your experienced sales team knows WHAT is the ideal strategy for growth, harness their combined experiences to explore new opportunities, overcome recurring challenges and formally agree on the best path to collectively exceed the annual sales goals.
2 – Consistent Sales Coaching
An even bigger mistake that sales leaders make is assuming their experienced sales team knows HOW to most effectively engage prospects. Are your experienced sales people demonstrating the right skills, behaviors and beliefs required to strategically grow your business or are they habitually applying techniques that may no longer be as effective?
If highly experienced athletes receive consistent coaching to continually enhance and correct their performance, then clearly it makes sense for experienced sales people to receive coaching to remain competitive.
Sales Leaders who leverage their regular sales meetings to consistently coach their experienced sales team are able to generate compelling playbooks from the best practices discussions that are shared.
3 – Use of Modern Sales Support Tools
Plentiful research has been provided on the evolving sales market and growing sophistication of the modern day buyer. Social media has revolutionized the way we now interact/engage prospects with further enhancements introduced on a regular basis.
While the experienced salesperson can effectively conduct prospect meetings and sales calls, the use of modern sales support tools such as an effective CRM solution significantly enhances the level of engagement and expedites the sales process.
Unlocking Your Sales Potential
What is becoming increasingly clear in this evolving sales market is that experienced salespeople and sales leaders who feel it is unnecessary to further develop their strategies, skills and approaches will ultimately be convicted to a life of inescapable mediocrity.
Our mindset and beliefs as salespeople are forged from our experiences, which ultimately impact how we confidently act and the results we generate.
No matter how experienced we are, in order to become more highly effective salespeople, we need to consistently develop our skills, behaviors and beliefs to create new experiences, and a new confidence that unlocks new opportunities.
Pipeliner CRM unshackles salespeople from their sales experience. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.