Are You a Prisoner of Your Sales Experience?

More often than not I hear Bank Leaders or Sales Leaders tell me that their strategy for growth is to hire experienced sales people. Arguably, that is simply recruiting resources rather than being strategic.

More often than not I hear Bank Leaders or Sales Leaders tell me that they do not consistently coach their teams as they hire experienced sales people who do not need coaching. Arguably, they need coaching more than anyone else.

And more often than not I hear experienced bankers and sales people tell me how it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve their sales targets year over year.

Too many banks and businesses rely on experienced sales people to simply leverage their networks and client base to gain referrals and grow the business. Minimal support is offered under the guise of providing “sales autonomy”, but are you in fact imprisoning your sales people in their own experiences?

Many Bank/Sales Leaders falsely believe that experienced sales people are relatively more effective because they are more confident. However both the leaders and the experienced sales people are failing to underestimate the limitations that this experience and confidence may ultimately have on their sales performance.

Our sales confidence is derived from our experiences, which propels our actions and ultimately impacts our beliefs. Without the ability to create new experiences by exploring new sales techniques/skills, sales people will continue to perpetuate the same actions that will eventually produce lower results and ultimately impact their confidence.

It has been famously said, “If you do what you have always done, you get what you always got”. In fact I would argue that you actually get less, as the law of diminishing returns comes into effect.

Competing sales people who engage in collaborative strategic planning, consistent sales coaching and the use of modern sales support tools will ultimately become more effective at infiltrating your market and stealing your prospects … or worse yet, your clients.

In many instances, the experienced sales person’s diminishing results are blamed on the organization’s lack of competitive products/solutions or the sales person’s lack of effort – resulting in an inevitable parting of ways.

The experienced sales person joins another organization and generally implements the same approach – seeking to lure their contacts away from their previous provider. But you can only drop your bucket in the same “referral well” so many times before the well dries up.

The so-called experienced sales person spirals into a downward cycle, caused by a lack of new ideas and skill development, until they fall into a chasm they will struggle to get out of. As a result, the so-called experienced sales person starts to become less effective. They start to flounder. Have they become a prisoner of their own experience?

So how can Bank/Sales Leaders and experienced sales people avoid imprisonment and reinvigorate their ability to rise above foreboding mediocrity?

As highlighted earlier, there are three clear ways that a sales person’s experience can be unshackled and leveraged to provide greater sales freedom and an abundance of sales opportunities:

 

1 – Collaborative Strategic Planning

Sales Leaders who facilitate annual strategic planning workshops with their experienced sales teams are able to review and generate powerful ideas that the team can now leverage for greater sales success.

Rather than assume your experienced sales team knows WHAT is the ideal strategy for growth, harness their combined experiences to explore new opportunities, overcome recurring challenges and formally agree on the best path to collectively exceed the annual sales goals.

 

2 – Consistent Sales Coaching

An even bigger mistake that Sales Leaders make is assuming their experienced sales team knows HOW to most effectively engage prospects. Are your experienced sales people demonstrating the right skills, behaviors and beliefs required to strategically grow your business or are they habitually applying techniques that may no longer be as effective?

If highly experienced athletes receive consistent coaching to continually enhance and correct their performance, then clearly it makes sense for experienced sales people to receive coaching to remain competitive.

Sales Leaders who leverage their regular sales meetings to consistently coach their experienced sales team are able to generate compelling playbooks from the best practices discussions that are shared.

 

3 – Use of Modern Sales Support Tools

Countless research has been provided on the evolving sales market and growing sophistication of the modern day buyer. Social media has revolutionized the way we now interact/engage prospects with further enhancements introduced on a regular basis.

Whilst the experienced sales person can effectively conduct sales meetings and sales calls, the use of modern sales support tools like Salesforce and LinkedIn significantly enhance the level of engagement and expedite the sales process.

 

Unlocking Your Sales Potential

What is becoming increasingly clear in this evolving sales market is that experienced sales people and sales leaders who feel it is unnecessary to further develop their strategies, skills and approaches will ultimately be convicted to a life of inescapable mediocrity.

Our mindset and beliefs as sales people are forged from our experiences, which ultimately impacts how we confidently act and the results we generate.

No matter how experienced we are, in order to become more highly effective sales people we need to consistently develop our skills, behaviors and beliefs to create new experiences and a new confidence that unlocks new opportunities.

Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For sales leadership coaching and guidance contact Joe at joe@growupsales.com or visit the webpage www.growupsales.com