Sales leader? How’s your forecast looking?

As you look at your sales forecast today, notice how some of the deals that have been forecasted for months still haven’t closed.

If you’re honest with yourself, deep down you know they never will – despite your sales people protestations and best efforts.

That’s because they aren’t qualified properly and your customer doesn’t see or feel the value in buying from you.

Your sales people can’t do anything about this either, because they’re missing two essential ingredients that only you as a sales leader can provide them with – the right mindset and skills to compete effectively in today’s market.

Without the right mindset, sales people don’t focus on what’s needed and most important to today’s buyers – outcomes and results that improve their business. Your sales people still see their job and purpose as to sell stuff – your products, services, solutions.

It’s not enough to sell products or point solutions today. Buyers want sales people who are business improvement specialists, not talking brochures. They’ve got your website for that.

Many organizations haven’t made explicit what they expect the sales organization’s purpose or the role of the sales person to be (hint: business improvement specialist vs sales person). This is a leadership and culture issue.

Nor have they armed their sales forces with the commercial insights and communication skills to execute value creating business conversations with competence or confidence. That’s because many organizations are internally focused and are product/solution centric vs customer centric.

So the core of your sales force sees its role as just to sell stuff – and does what it’s always done – while your buyers evolve and your competition who’s evolved too… thrive.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The mindset and skills that customers value today can be taught.

As Sales Leader you need to model the behaviors you want your sales force to execute in front of customers. It starts with you.

Done well, you’ll transform the culture of your sales organization and company – delight customers and close more business with less effort and in less time.

That’s been my experience. What do you think?