Well, are you a sales academic? Do you take yourself seriously enough to credit yourself with having a solid command of the emotional, financial, business, cultural, regulatory, legal, behavioral and technical skills needed to sell?
You can add to this list.
Sales academics are lifelong learners. That means they read at least one article a week on each of these cross-disciplinary subjects. They do their own research to identify source material. They build their own knowledge libraries.
Sales academics teach themselves to connect the dots between each of these disciplines. They have some provocative ideas to talk about, as a result.
Sales academics constantly are in pursuit of knowing what they don’t know. They don’t rely on their own company marketing materials to provide the answers to customers’ questions. They are skeptical sellers just as their customers are skeptical buyers.
Sales academics collaborate. They seek out and build intra-company expertise to accrue their core capabilities.
Sales academics communicate. They aren’t afraid to admit what they do and don’t understand, in conversations with peers, colleagues and customers. Not knowing is ignorance which can be nullified by knowledge acquisition. Not admitting you don’t know is stupidity. Your choice.
Sales academics target cross-functional business mastery. That means they reject being labeled as a sleazy sales person with a motor-mouth, pitching stuff at customers who aren’t interested in catching it. They perceive themselves as knowledgeable and strategic business people of worth to their customers.
Sales academics don’t buy into being labeled as a sales personality type. They don’t believe what the recruiting assessments have to say about their potential to become business people of worth. They know who they are. They have self-vision.
Sales academics take risks. That means they pursue building business in industry verticals their peers find daunting. That means they have relevant conversations with prospects who find their conversations valuable. Keep in mind that these types of prospects mirror your academic approach to self-mastery.
These sales professionals don’t think they are stupid.
Sales academics spend at least two to four hours a week learning. They have identified resources and work with expert coaches to prod them out of any type of ego complacency which may emerge.
As a result, sales academics are confident. They constantly are on their toes. They target continuous excellence.
Sales academics sit at their command console comprised of the multiple (and growing) disciplines they are simultaneously learning about at all times.
Sales academics do not exclusively focus on improving their sales skills, techniques and methodologies to meet quota and make their numbers.
That is why the future of selling lies in the hands of those sales professionals who are comfortable and conversant crossing inter-disciplinary legacy boundaries.
That is why the future of selling lies in the hands of those technical and engineering professionals who are comfortable and conversant crossing inter-disciplinary legacy boundaries.
That strategy makes them leaders of sales teams, not just sales leaders in teams of sales people. That strategy propels them towards becoming business leaders of worth.
Sales academics willingly cross the risky sales-engineering® interface. Their brains are unified. No right and left brain stuff here, thank you.
After all, business, technology, innovation and creativity are all one collaborative playing field.
Are you brave enough to make that leap of professional faith?
Babette Ten Haken started out her career as a scientist. Early on, she was asked to bring clarity to the chaos of stalemated conversations between engineers, sales, IT, quality, legal and marketing folks. She focuses on building collaborative, innovative and profitable teams who are focused on excellence in the hand-off of strategy for execution. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.