When you look at a lot of what is being written about sales and selling, you see a lot of focus right now on artificial intelligence, automation, and other technologies. You also see a lot of focus on sales processes and methodologies, with the new and exciting refresh of old ideas that gain a lot of attention on the social channels.
Success in any endeavor is multifactorial. It is made up of more than one thing, usually consisting of competencies in many different areas. While all of these tools, technologies, processes, and methodologies are good and useful, there are two areas that dominate when it comes to producing organizational success in sales.
First and most important is sales leadership. Leadership counts for more than your sales process, more than your methodologies, more than your CRM, and more than any other tool. Where sales leadership is exceedingly strong, it counts for much more than the product, much more than the company itself, and more than any other factor. This being true, you’d be better off devoting your attention to building great sales leaders than just about anything else.
After building great sales managers, the second most important factor to tilt the playing field deeply in your direction is great salespeople. I wrote about this in my first book, The Only Sales Guide Your Ever Need. There, I noted that sales success was individual, not the result of having the right territory or having the right product even though high waters can cover a lot of stumps. What makes selling so difficult now is the fact that the salesperson makes up so much of the value proposition in larger, complex sales.
This is not to say that the processes, methodologies, tools, and technologies are not important. They are important and necessary. But they also need to come in the right order. People. Ideas. Technology. In that exact order.
You have limited time and energy. You have a limited budget. Producing the best results possible means focusing first on the factors that create the greatest competitive advantage and produce greater sales. Start with your people.
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Filed under: Sales