Rising Up from the Factory Floor

May 27, 2016

Should sales people focus on activities from the “factory floor” or should we be influencing sales strategy inside the boardroom?

The easy answer is that we should be focused on both, but the reality is that more often than not we are drowning in the tactics, and forgetting why we were put in the sales role: to influence the buyer’s decision because of our knowledge and passion for our company’s product or service.

In industries across the globe, workers are being overtaken by technology on the factory floor. In the same way, sales organizations are being infiltrated by technology sales stacks complete with cadence management, artificial intelligence, and big data. By implementing these technologies, we are forced to count the seconds, track the touches, record the calls, tweak the processes, and analyze the reports.

With such a technological system in place, it’s easy for sales agents to get lost in the micro-tactics that make up their sales process (especially when they know their manager is watching), crippling their abilities to execute professional salesmanship. To avoid such a pitfall, it is imperative to mold sales professionals to serve as the strategic forefront for the boardroom, complete with a solid foundation of the company’s best interests, product knowledge, brand awareness, and future aspirations. This MUST happen BEFORE they jump into tactical execution.

So how do we pick ourselves up from the “factory floor” and ensure we are the strategic asset we were hired for before jumping into tactical execution?

At our Sales Innovation Lab, we focus on three key fundamentals that allow the bots to do their jobs, enabling our agents to succeed at higher rates in theirs:

1. Shift your thought process from the factory floor to the boardroom

DO: Look up, think ahead, embrace your product, and evangelize why buyers need it.

DON’T: Count, measure, clock, or track; leave that up to the robots.

2. Embrace your buyer’s reality

DO: Inspect target accounts, determine customer profiles, buyer journeys, and persona identification.

DON’T: Follow prescribed tactics, send robotic messages, deliver impersonal, or irrelevant communications.

3. Inspire others to own the sales person journey

DO: Reject the ‘tracker jackers’ and spend training time on messaging, objection handling, and core value propositions.

DON’T: Enable co-workers to discuss process steps, tasks, or procedures.