If you find yourself wondering if your Sales Career is being limited or damaged by your current employer or sales trainer, here are four indicators that it might be time to leave . There are many more that I ask you to share below in the comments but these are the warning signs demanding you take action soon.
1.) Your boss tells you to hit the phones. That is his primary strategy. The sage advice they provide goes something like this – “Pick up the phone, dial a number. Without hanging up the phone, dial the next number. Most of your calls will go to voicemail. Many will not be a good prospect for you or your company. Enough will answer, and enough will engage with you that you will build a pipeline, and you will win deals.”
You are expected to use this approach, and are being measured on things like number of calls and call-duration. There is a time for prospecting phone calls. They are a piece, but only a piece of an effective sales activity in today’s environment. For the 100 people that you make those calls to and leave a voicemail for, you will damage your reputation with far more of your future customers than the small, single digit appointments or next steps that you actually do accomplish. Interrupting 98 potential customers to get 2 appointments is not helpful to your sales career and reputation long term. If that is the sales strategy your manager is teaching you – run to the door.
2.) Your company refuses to invest in fresh, current training that is reflective of today’s environment. If there is any training going on, and that is a big IF for many of you, it is based on stale, outdated thinking that is not only no longer as effective, but is also offensive to the very customers you are trying to do business with. When a sales leader is considering a training program, she is likely going to feel comfortable with a style that she learned in. That is a key consideration – sales leaders are sticking to what helped them be successful in the past, and ignore or talk down the freshest approaches, tools and techniques that work more consistently today. She reads a book from one of the tired, worn out voices preaching churn and burn and that reinforces what she learned in the past. That is what you are going to be trained on!
Don’t get me wrong – experience is extremely valuable to have in your manager, as long as she is open-minded and paying attention to fresh thinking on the topic. Seek training that is effective today, in one of many formats that you learn best from. Video training allows you to pace the training as your schedule allows. Audio training can be absorbed in many different environments. Ask for reimbursement from your boss for these training programs. If they refuse, add another checkmark on the list of reasons to leave. Isn’t your sales career worth investing in and continually advancing.
Here is an example of top-shelf training from real-life successful sales pro’s like this one that incorporates traditional selling skills with fresh approaches with social, email and todays buyers. I am taking this course myself.
3.) Your boss insists that an aggressive, “stalker-like” pursuit of prospects is the way to get sales. His best motivation is to tell you of their past success such as “I closed a 2.5 million dollar deal after leaving the exact same voicemail for a C-Level Executive every morning for 52 consecutive days.”
I don’t care if the story is even true – do you really want to be that person? Same voicemail every day for 52 days? For the majority of people who are capable of buying your services, ESPECIALLY at the C-level, you will come across as obnoxious, belligerent and not someone who they will even consider making an appointment with. Your boss made that sale back in the day – woohoo! All you will do is damage your reputation and that of your company. Not the approach that will build your career or reputation in the direction you prefer. All you end up achieving is polluting your prospect pool for future opportunities. If this is the advice your manager or trainer is teaching you, just ask yourself if that is the type of salesperson you want to be. Move along or you will end up using this technique until you are fired for lack of production.
4.) You are starved for leads and opportunities of potential customers who actually need your product or service now. There is no excuse for the majority of sales teams to not have an ample supply of leads from those that are truly interested in what you provide. Every industry is different but the truth is that a smart, innovative marketing team should be producing leads for sales on a consistent basis that can feed your sales needs. Lead-generation has gone through a revolution over the last 3-5 years, and I see too many companies still stuck in their old ways from pre-social media and internet. There are so many lead generation venues available to be using to generate interest and interaction with those that need your products or services.
Final thought: Your sales career is too important to get stuck in a company or behind a leader that will hold you back. If you are committed to becoming great in your sales career, evaluate your current situation. If you are exposed to these scenarios above – get out, and fast. There are plenty of companies ready to meet and surpass your expectations.
What reasons have you dealt with that indicated it is time to seek a new employer?