Sales: The lifeblood of business

18 May

When I used to to think of sales, I could not help but recall the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, in particular the openining scene in which Alec Baldwin delivers his famous “coffee is for closers!” spiel . Who amongst us has not had that awful experience with the used car salesman-type, pushing his product or service down our throats? It can leave a bad taste in your mouth about sales, and rightfully so.

And who could forget the famous ABC’s from Glengarry Glen Ross?:

  • Always
  • Be
  • Closing
But is sales as simple as a numbers game, in which 300 cold calls might yield a handful of leads, leading to a handful of prospects, which might generate, maybe, a few sales? Not according to Mike Peloquin.
I had the privilege of hearing a talk by sales expert, Mike Peloquin, who has grown 6 start ups from nothing, to millions in revenue.  He had a very interesting perspective on the sales process which he unabashedly views as a brutal, cutthroat process that requires a highly competitive team.  That being said, Peloquin believes that you can create real, tangible sales and revenue through a systematic, detailed process, and his record speaks for itself as head of sales of numerous companies.
Some key points that are applicable to all sales approaches, businesses, and products:
  • You do not conduct business with companies, but rather with human beings, making key leads at organizations essential to the sales process (Point: Find people, not companies to conduct business with and focus on nurturing relationships with them)
  • Sales is not the process of throwing paint at the wall and seeing what sticks, but instead, a systematic process that requires careful managing of contacts (through CRM systems), follow-up, and a well-disciplined team
  • People are NOT customers, until they pay you (it’s critical to distinguish between leads, prospects, and actual sales)
  • Leads are critical to sales and they should be managed, massaged, and organized by a dedicated sales team (Peloquin even believes that sales teams should be incentivized by the leads they generate, not just sales)
Sales is cutthroat as a profession and most people might not have the stomach for it.  It can be gut-wrenching and difficult to break through and crush it as a salesman. As an entrepreneur, I know I have emotional attachment to my products and therefore can have a difficult time handling the rejection.
That being said, with the right team, process, and approach to sales it’s not always about the ABCs, but instead focusing on people, not companies, through a systematic process, to generate sales and revenue as an organization. 
Always going for glory,
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