Welcome to the ELAvate! Sales Blog. What makes this Sales Blog a worthwhile read? This blog will have a “global perspective” on sales performance based on my +30 years of global sales success across many cultures.
The global marketplace is desperately short of world-class sales people and, even more so, solid sales coaches. The ELAvate! Sales Blog helps you grow sales people and sales coaches as world-class leaders.
To be a “Sales Inventor” as never been my cup of tea (India), mug of coffee (America) or can of Red Bull (GeniY). The journey has been more of a “Sales Early Adopter.” I have learned and served some of the world’s best leaders and learned their wisdom to apply it to the cross cultural world of sales.
Global Sales Profession is an Honorable Profession.
Yes, the “sales” profession is an honorable profession. Sales people are leaders in the purest sense. Sales people lead customers to mutually beneficial decisions to change for the better. Chally Group has found that over 40% of college graduates enter the workforce as sales professionals. In many countries a “sales job” is looked at as an entry, low level position to get a seemingly more secure job as a manager. In fact, one of the most secure positions is to be a sales person who is exceeding plan by practicing ethical customer centric leadership for his/her organization. ELAvating and retaining performing sales people is a very effective strategy.
Global Sales People are Leaders of Influence.
Building on Dr. John Maxwell “Sales Leadership is Influence, nothing more nothing less.” In most cases sales people enter the customer environment with lower status, title or position than the customer they are meeting. Even if the status is the same, to many customers, the relationship is that of the parent to the child. The sales person must influence to “earn the right” from the customer to be trusted on a professional, relational and ethical level. This is true influence, based on position or title.
Global Sales People are Leaders of Healthy Relationships.
In many countries of the world, sales people must spend much more time building trust and relationships before even discussing customer issues and problems, let alone speak about his/her solution. Weak legal systems, the preference for harmony, and “keeping face” make it a challenge for sales people to build relationships. The best sales people, borrowing from Dr. Tim Elmore, are “leaders who assume responsibility to develop healthy customer relationships on a consistent basis.”
Global Sales People are Cross Cultural Leaders.
All great sales people are fluent in cross culture leadership. Think about it, the global sales person skillfully navigates across ethnic or national culture, but also learns and understands the culture of his customer organization. S/He must also have insight into his/her own company culture so s/he may best align business issues, people, and solutions across both organizational cultures. Dr. Fons Trompenaars says “Culture is how groups of people solve problems or dilemmas across relationships, time and the environment.” Global sales people excel at crafting win-win solutions across these three parameters of culture. Yes, indeed, cross culturally!
Global Sales People are Leaders of Change.
The best sales people problem solve by leading customers and their organizations to change for the better. Though most sales people are not inventors, they are early adaptors who can link innovative products and solutions to the culture, needs and issues of the customer. Great sales people might have the motto “We sell change for a better future.”
Global Sales People are Ethical Leaders.
We all have heard that the number one reason sales people are not trusted is they do not deliver on their promises. The world over, ethical sales people are a competitive advantage for both their own organization and their customers.
Global Sales People enjoy being Servant Leaders.
When you think “servant leader,” Mother Theresa may come to mind. Yes, she too was a “leader of influence” drawing many people to commit to her cause to serve others.
My favorite servant sales leader is Bono of U2. He prides himself as a “traveling salesman.” I see him as one who uses his gifts and talents to sell U2 music and concerts but also to serve the world. If you have ever been to a U2 concert, you know Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam deliver a vibrant audience focused performance exceeding expectations.
Bono also leads ONE and RED. These organizations use Bono’s influence and servant salesmanship to focus world leaders on tackling the problems of poverty, AIDS, and health across Africa. ELAvate! Sales is inspired by U2’s song Elevation. Just as U2 elevates music, ELAvate! Sales equips and inspires young leaders to be successful salespeople that can change the world.