My sales career began in the early years of the high tech industry, even though I started my professional life as an engineer. As a “young buck,” I saw the value of computing and information technology. As time wore on, I became excited at the prospect of combining my natural sales orientation with my analytical skills and technical comprehension and moved into sales. The decision to move my career that direction was a landmark decision that I consider providential to this day.
I began my sales adventures at a major computer manufacturer. Back then the industry had the same energy and enthusiasm that you find at the high-growth social media companies today (Google, for example). We were flying high, investing in our people, and challenging traditional work culture. I benefited in many ways – one of which was receiving intensive sales training. After 6 weeks of instruction at the corporate headquarters, followed by on-going classes in regional computerized-training centers, I was as prepared for success as anyone could hope to be. However, even with all this formal training, the “real world” threw me curve balls that weren’t covered in the training manual. I needed coaching and insight from sales veterans who had “been there” and knew what to do.
Learning from seasoned salespeople helped me mature professionally and forged my commitment to coaching. Times have changed; and many corporations invest less time and money training their sales organization. Sales people are forced to learn on the job – often in do-or-die situations. This is not the way to build a high-power sales team. Over the 30 years that I’ve worked in sales, I’ve developed a passion for building champion sales teams through leadership, coaching, strategic planning and implementation. Some of my tools are analytical or process-driven, but many focus on bringing out the best in your staff.
Like any great coach, it’s personally rewarding to see sales teams become successful. I love seeing people learn to believe in themselves, become active contributors and hold their hold their heads high in front of their peers and family. When I can help an individual or a company achieve that … well … I hold my head high too.
Have a coaching story you’d like to share, or need advice about a sticky sales problem? Leave a comment here, send me an email, or give me a call.