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Don’t Just Succeed, Dominate

This is an excerpt from a speech I made at a sales conference recently. It really was an exciting moment for me and the people were simply fantastic. 

I recall how we looked forward to sales conferences in my young and growing days in Sales and Marketing. An effective sales conference or meeting has clear, attainable objectives that everyone on the team can understand. You will leave here with set goals, fired up, having developed some new exciting sales strategies. You will also have developed a working plan for the next one year / half year / quarter / months as the case may be.

Sales conferences always afforded us great opportunities to meet, interact and share experiences with one another. It is a powerful platform to exchange ideas, sharpen each other, hone existing skills and learn new ones. We always left the conferences feeling empowered and ready to ‘take on the world’.

The theme of this conference is ‘Dominate’. There is no better time to reflect on this than now. We no long should be striving to succeed but to dominate. We should be dominating. Hence the title of my short speech ‘Don’t just succeed, dominate’. What would this title suggest to you – both as an individual and as key members of the organisation? What will it mean to you as a professional sales man?

You succeed when you meet or even exceed your targets. Meeting your target is what I will call ‘business as usual’. That is, it is expected of you to meet and exceed your targets. I called it ‘business as usual’ because your targets are jointly agreed and resources are also allocated to enable you achieve them. But when we talk about dominating, it goes beyond meeting your targets to actually leading in the market. It is about your position in the market, the size of the market you control, it’s about how relevant you are in the market. It’s about thinking scale, it’s about thinking stakeholder value.

To dominate, you have to be in charge of your business (territory or segment) and be in the driver’s seat of the market. It calls for a couple of things:

Overcome the challenge of selling’. Selling the right Product/Service to the right Customer at the right Time for the right Price at the right Quality and through the right Channel Consistently!

Focus on value creation – solving problems.

Innovate in the way we sell – our selling approach – there are two main sales approached – conventional and consultative. Innovation and radical shift in mindset. It calls for truthfully appraising ourselves and ensuring that we learn from past experiences.

Take advantage of the latest digital tools and technologies to improve the selling experience for both sales teams and customers and become more productive.  Consumer-like User Interface – easy, intuitive, and appealing

Be a true professional salesman. Love your job, be passion, willing to work hard and smart, be driven to succeed, have an optimistic outlook, be able to ask questions and listen to customers, have a customer service orientation and be physically and mentally prepared for life and the job

You’ve got to avoid the common mistakes we make as salespeople. Some examples include; assuming the problem that the prospect communicates is the real problem, thinking that your sales “presentation” will seal the deal, talking too much, believing that you can sell anybody anything, over-educating the prospect when you should be selling, failing to remember that salespeople are decision makers, too and reading minds and keeping your fingers crossed that a prospect doesn’t notice a problem.

We must transit from selling to account management. This including seeing your customer more as an account rather than a single purchase. You will requireknowledge of competitive tactics and strategies to drive unique differentiation to reinforce exclusive benefits. You will need to understand account team dynamics and your meetings must challenge and provoke action-oriented thinking. You will need technology. It can be a powerful enabler as a means of reinforcement, idea exchange, and accelerating core account team effectiveness. Finally, executive leadership must continuously champion and reinforce the value of Account Management to ensure its adoption into the sales culture.

Dominating the market is a task that must be done. We must pay attention to the market and make sure we truly lead. We must be better at better at solving problems, move more volumes and post better profits, be more efficient – sell more with less resource, manage the salesforce for value and truly lead the market. 

Now that you are leading the market, what next? I call these the 8 parting shots. Some simple exciting steps to stay dominant.  

 

You’ve got to envision – Imagine dominance as a future possibility; visualize it and pick the picture real in your heart.

  •     Dissection is the second point. This is the action of dissecting the business and selling process. You must understand the internal workings of your business and organise your selling process thereby.
  • You must appreciate the importance of meeting deadlines.
  • You would definitely need to imbibe project management mind-set
  •  You’ve got to be deliberate about dominating. It should be a choice you make and with your willpower behind it.
  • Support is very important. You selling efforts must be properly aligned with the efforts and capacity / capabilities of the support functions.
  • You must be personally effective. Put your efforts, talents, skills and quality use.
  • Be self-forgiving and build on success stories.
  • Finally, do not be quick to change a winning formula. Milk it, innovate it and leverage it to the max.

With these, you will not only succeed in your career and as a business, but you will dominate. All the best. 

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