It’s been said that managing a sales team is like herding cats. In the 2000 commercial from EDS (a HP company) this is shown in an amusing way. While the ad talks about the complexities of the digital economy, the illustration works well for sales.
Insight From A Selling Professional
Clive Smith, currently the Vice President of CRMNow’s Asia Pacific business, recently published a book titled “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sales & Selling“.
As clients and friends of CRMNow, we’d like to share Clive’s insight from 30+ years of selling. We trust you will enjoy Clive’s view of selling as much as we have.
This book is written by a thirty year sales veteran whose business card has described him as everything from a Sales Representative to a CEO, but who has always seen Selling as a Core Competency.
Over that thirty years I have successfully supported a wife, raised a family, bought homes and cars and other assets and done so during both boom times and severe recessions. Whether I have been working for an employer or in my own business the skills and techniques in this book have been a reliable body of knowledge that has seen me survive and prosper. I believe as Machiavelli did that Fortuna plays a role in the outcomes in life, but that an individual should be praised if successful, and is faultless in failure if he masters the body of knowledge he needs for his chosen field of endeavour.
I have noticed a huge change in the last thirty years in that fewer and fewer companies invest in training sales people; in particular in training new entrants to the profession. While accountants, lawyers, and other modern professions such as IT have developed professional standards that are supported by the companies within the professions, sales has always been seen as the Cinderella of professions or perhaps more as a trade. The situation has regressed significantly over the last thirty years. When I was a Sales Manager I could always rely on the basic skills of candidates that had two or more years at Xerox, or IBM, or half a dozen other companies that provided years of skills development while on the job. The quality of many of those programs has been eroded by each successive eras of cost cutting. Today very few companies provide this “induction” and development training, preferring to hire experienced salespeople from the market. This policy places the burden of initially developing yourself as a competent sales professional on the individual. This eBook is written to help you.
This book is for the man I was at 25 when I became a salesman. I can assume that you, the reader, are ambitious, at least to the extent that you want to support yourself (and your family); that you are capable of development and change; and that given the tools you will take the opportunity to better yourself. I hope a few experienced sales guys will read learn and enjoy, but an author needs to personalize his audience, and this is the book I never had when I started out, this book is for me.
Most books of this kind promote the author and his achievements and attribute all value to the author. While I am prepared to put my track record of “Salesman of the Year” in a number of companies and the millions of dollars I have earned up against anyone; my view is that many companies have invested in my skills, sales colleagues have mentored me, and the customers who have given me feedback have contributed more than I can lay claim to. I would also like to acknowledge the help and support I have had from Penny, my wife in developing me as an adult human being; both my children for their contribution to my motivation; and Angel, my dog for always being happy when I come home. The professional input to improve a very rough first draft came from Rob McGregor and Malcolm Lewis Jones, two long term friends and world class salespeople. The initial draft was much improved by Roger Wegener and Charlotte Smith, my daughter. All remaining errors and omissions are my responsibility alone.
It is this “body of knowledge” I contribute to your success in your life.
Take the value on offer; and show me something I cannot do.
Links will be added to the various chapter headings below over the coming months. Each page has a blog feature, feel free to leave a comment or question for Clive. We look forward to your participation.
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