Today’s sales leaders are thinking about the future. Top of mind for them is identifying the specific skill set necessary for seller success this year, next year and five years out. Recognizing the new or enhanced requirements of top performing salespeople affects hiring decisions, seller retention, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, sales results. Four traits are imperative for sellers who will manage or call on enterprise-level accounts:
Enterprise sellers of the future must be comfortable calling on the C-suite. It is essential they understand how to engage executives over time for mutual benefit. This necessitates in-depth research skills, confidence, and overall expertise. Bottom line – top enterprise account executives should be able to secure a meeting with the executive sponsors in all of their largest accounts.
The seller of the future is one who facilitates and directs their account teams to get results. They must leverage all resources, internal and external. For example, one vital account team role is the person who will push back on the strategy and goals. Their expertise requires exceptional communications skills and an end-result frame of mind. Account sellers must also be seen as leaders inside their customer’s organization, offering ideas, solutions, and resources. They will know they’ve accomplished this status when account team members are asked by customers to be part of important committees or task forces.
A strategic mindset includes the ability to engage account teams to develop account strategies, goals and Win Themes™, all based on a steadfast focus around solving their customer’s problems. The team is alert to the customer’s priorities, overall satisfaction and where the customer is in their buying process. Strategic teams develop long-term plans and goals; sometimes more than twelve months into the future. Short term tactics ensure long-term goal achievement.
Planning and Execution Abilities:
Traditionally, salespeople are not known for their planning or process skills. Most sellers would much prefer to interact with their customers than spend time in planning meetings. However, future selling teams must share an unwavering belief that regular and long-term strategic planning pays off in the form of account wins. Members of selling teams may need to step out of their actual roles, put their egos aside and do whatever is necessary to execute on account plans. A sense of urgency and commitment to tactics is crucial. Pre-call planning for all important customer meetings is a must.
Capitalize on these imperatives and watch your win rates skyrocket. As sales leaders embrace the future skills needed for large-scale enterprise selling success, their teams will ring the bell more often with TOP Line Account™ victories!