Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on LinkedIn here.
“Who knows, you may be that close. You could be uncovering a blind spot or two away to take your career to the next height…” Assegid Habtewold, The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For Continued Success in Leadership
Blind spots, we all have them and they have the potential to be damaging. Unfortunately, everyone but ourselves can see these as clear as day. For sales leaders, these blind spots create unwelcome consequences. They interfere with decision-making, reduce our scope of awareness, and sabotage sales results.
A blind spot could be an unrecognized weakness. Within this context, it has the potential to undermine sales growth. The most dangerous blind spots affect those sales leaders who are unaware of the impact this may have on their sales team.
Most of the time, it’s easier to see blind spots within other sales teams than within our own. Ignorance is a sales disadvantage. Instead, sales leaders must learn to recognize the things they don’t know within their sales team and see the reality with an objective sales eye.
Blind spots can be the Achilles heel of sales leadership. Weaknesses within your sales team are aspects you can intentionally strengthen with planning, preparation and practice.
“We all have blind spots – those areas for improvement and growth. It is this acknowledgement that enables us to take the first step toward change.” Rhonda Louise Robbins
Blind Spots – Take it to Heart
At the core of every member of your sales team, lies a beating heart. Without a heart we become lifeless. The same can be said in regards to your sales team that without a beating sales heart your sales team become sales lifeless.
How well are you coaching your sales team to invest in their heart?
What sets you and your sales team apart from every other competitor? The one thing they can bring to the business table is their heart. Combining authenticity, values, hard work and determination can drive sales success.
Three Blind Spots Holding Back Your Sales Team
Wouldn’t you like to discover a new way to grow sales? Let’s remove the blinders, as you discover why the heart is at the center of your team’s sales growth.
“Know thy value, know thyself.”
Sales professionals add compelling value. The question for sales leaders, how many of your sales reps can clearly and concisely articulate their value proposition? What’s the value of each and every one of your sales reps? Do you know the value they bring to your clients and prospects?
Your sales reps must gain confidence by bringing competence and articulating value. Unfortunately, many sales reps struggle with understanding the value their buyer wants, let alone what their clients value.
Quick exercise. Ask every member of your sales team to write down their Value Proposition. If they come back uninspiring, all about them, your company and your offerings; you need to fix this now!
Value is more than just reciting the company mission statement or spouting off bullets from a brochure. Compelling value comes from combining the offerings of your company with the strengths of each one of your sales reps. This then gets filtered through what your clients say they value. This results in a clearly communicated value proposition.
Of all the challenges your sales reps face, it’s their ability to convey a valuable message that will make them or break them. The challenge is not so much as ‘getting in the door’, but it’s more a case of getting a ‘share of mind’.
“Value before Visibility – Victory.”
Without compelling value, your salespeople are going to battle completely unarmed.
Plain and simple, your sales reps must be able to drive conversation. The art of conversation is a necessary skill for your entire sales team. Conversations are the bridging mechanism to people when prospecting in and outside of your client base. Without conversations as the foundation for those relationships, your sales reps will have a hard time building a social network, uncovering sales opportunities or advancing a sale.
Great conversations require skill in driving business conversation. Great business conversations start with high levels of business acumen. It’s no longer enough for your team to be experts in your company offering’s to be successful salespeople. It’s imperative they need to be an expert in your client’s business if they want to be valued.
Business acumen is understanding the combination of the way that your client’s business works along with the way your own business works.
Are your sales reps losing sales opportunities because of their lack of business acumen?
Are your sales reps comfortable speaking with executives regarding financial matters?
Conversational Intelligence + Business Acumen = Great Sales Success
“If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.”
Authenticity is one of the biggest challenges for salespeople in a profession riddled with scrupulous, fake and disingenuous sales reps; that quite frankly many buyers despise them. However, authenticity separates sales reps from sales professionals and this is what you need; sales professionals.
How clearly can your sales reps define themselves? Are they living as the real deal and not someone else? Do their thoughts match their actions? Does their walk match their talk?
Unfortunately, a tremendous amount of sales reps are taught old school manipulative sales tricks – strategies to sell as fast as possible. These sales strategies make it all about them and not the buyer.
“We must bring the human approach back to sales and make it about our clients, the buyer and what’s important to them.”
It starts by leading with the heart, not with the wallet.
Authenticity is a choice. It’s not easy, but for your sales team this could be the difference between just getting by and making it happen. I ask you to self-reflect for a moment, what would it mean to have your sales reps lead an authentic sales lifestyle? It’s hard work. It’s looking right into the mirror, asking tough questions and answering them. You’re in charge of your sales team and their success!
The Heart of the Matter
The heart gives us life. Your sales team must become more astute emotionally, intellectually and inspirationally. The heart of a sales champion lies with value intelligence, conversational intelligence and authenticity intelligence.
Your clients and prospects crave this and all you need to do is ask!