At Peakon, we have one goal, to build the number one employee experience platform in the world. I know it’s not an easy task, but if you can find the right team and get them pulling in the same direction, anything is possible.
My role in this? Running the sales team. But I’m trying to do this in a slightly different way…
The way sales teams used to work isn’t effective anymore. Today’s younger generations are motivated by completely different things compared to years ago. So while you need to ensure revenue growth, you also need to make sure your ultra-ambitious team members are fulfilled. It can be a juggling act.
The key to making this work is instilling solid values in your team from the beginning. When you have values and don’t compromise on them, you will build trust with your customers and colleagues, and in turn be successful. Through applying these values, your team members will gain the skills necessary to be successful anywhere. Values are important in any business, and in my mind, are the foundation of a successful sales career.
If you know me or have seen one of my talks, you’ll know I believe that acronyms are a great way of memorising details. In my team at Peakon, we use 8 acronyms to underpin our values, and I’m going to share them with you now. If you can apply these values to your sales career, you will put yourself on a path to becoming world-class.
1. WIT – Whatever It Takes
At Peakon, whatever task we turn our hands to, we will do whatever it takes to deliver the best result for our customer. Our products play a part in our customers’ success, and they rely on us to help them achieve it. If we need to stay late to finish that proposal or make that last phone call, we do it. If we need to get up in the middle of the night to run that demo in a different time zone, we do it. There’s no such thing as ‘somebody else’s job’. We leave no stone unturned. The extra mile is the best part of the journey.
2. SOU – Sense of Urgency
Our industry is extremely competitive. If you can’t give the customer what they need, when they need it, you will not succeed. Great salespeople never put off to tomorrow what they can do today. Customers feel valued when they’re looked after with a sense of urgency. We want to reward hard work from the rest of the business, by ruthlessly focusing on driving revenue.
3. EA – Excellence Always
The important part of this acronym is ‘always’. I already know my team members are capable of excellence. What I need is for them to be excellent all the time. This comes down to two things, discipline and focus. It’s what you do when your manager isn’t watching.
4. KYB – Know Your Business
Good salespeople know their product back-to-front. Great salespeople know their entire business. Firstly, they know their numbers. They know their target, they have a plan to hit it and they know where they are on that plan. When you know all the details that make you successful, the conversion rates, the average order values, every other important number, you greatly reduce the risk of failing. Secondly, the best people don’t just know everything about their product, they know all about their competitors’ products too. They’re experts in their marketplace. Finally and most importantly, the best salespeople know their customers. They know their motivations and their pain points. At Peakon, to quote Stephen Covey, we seek first to understand, then to be understood.
5. PBR – Persistence Beats Resistance
A great saying that our very own Business Development Manager Chris Ritson lives by. Resistance takes many forms. It could be fear of failure, impostor syndrome, even fear of success. The only way to beat Resistance is to show up every day. Never stop battling it. Do the work.
6. LAT – Loyalty, Attitude and Tenacity
These 3 traits are what embodies a successful, confident salesperson. To me, loyalty means doing what you say, to your manager, to your colleagues and to your customers. Attitude is all about having a can-do mindset, no matter what you’re up against. And tenacity, that’s an appetite for winning. I don’t believe these traits are coachable. Sure, I can help you present better, and I can help you close deals, but you’re either LAT or you’re not. That’s why when I hire people for my team, I look at behaviours, not just skills.
7. JFDI – Just F***ing Do it
One thing I try to give my team members is freedom to fail. I am happy for my people to fail if they fail fast, and they learn from it. If they have an idea which they believe will lead to success? JFDI! You learn nothing from the mistakes you never make, and you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
8. TA – Team Approach
At Peakon, our team win and lose together. In any fast-growing business, there will be harder times that encourage us to stick together, and amazing successes that have us on a high. That’s a pretty exciting journey to be on. Between us, we’ve created a shared sense of achievement, and we’re proud of what we’ve made so far at Peakon and of our part in it.
I hope these little acronyms can help you make improvements in the way you approach your sales career, whether at Peakon or in any company you’re in.
Over to you now. What do you think? Which acronym resonates most with you? Do you have any nifty little sayings that have helped you achieve success? Leave us a comment or drop me a line directly if you are interested becoming part of the Peakon journey.