Product-Market Fit, Relationships, Startup Sales

The Best Sales Pros

I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the best sales pros and thought leaders out there come from girls and guys who have faced, and overcame, adversity in their lifetime. I really can’t back that up beyond anecdotal evidence, but to me, there’s a not-so-fine line between those that sell and those that are trained to sell.

That’s not necessarily to insinuate that the worth of these individuals is not the same or one may always generate more sales than the other,  but I do think it’s worth knowing or seeking to identify, who the best performers are going to be.  There will probably be an eternal “causation-correlation” debate on the matter. But when it comes down to it, and you can hire all A-players for your team, you’re going to aim for all A-players on your side.

There are those who follow the playbook, go through the motions, hit all their targets, get along well with their team, follow the pitch framework, and get promoted every few years. Until they then jump into the manager playbook and begin the process all over again. We’ll call these the trained sales pros (TSPs) who generally opt for companies already on their rocket trajectory.

And then there are those who sell who we’ll call the natural sales pro (NSP). These pros tend to attract people and naturally build relationships. They’re not comfortable being just a sales professional, but a genuine advocate and friend. Even if the prospect does not end up buying the solution, you will find seller and buyer connecting on LinkedIn, MSP, SalesStack, and interacting with one another. NSP’s are avid social sellers, have their own blog and personal brand, interact with, and support one another as sales pros.

I think these are the individuals a hiring manager should be aiming for to build out there outbound sales team. NSP’s have a story behind them, often of struggle and constant challenges. They didn’t have the silver spoon at birth and instead through their past journey and struggle found that this was the profession that fit them.

And these NSP’s are always impatient, outspoken, yet eager to learn, and can help take a raw product to PMF – often forming the same playbooks that TSP’s end up learning from.

 

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