Cyber Security To Lawtech Learnings

I recently read one of those 'what I learned about' interviews. With a solution seller roughly a decade into their career, having started out in (whisper it) Marketing (but escaping by will for more excitement).

The full awakening seems just beyond the horizon still, yet points indeed for the realisation of how selling is far removed from the stereotype.

"We have this misperception that selling is super-aggressive. It’s not. It is about building rapport and being able to have a connection and conversation with someone."

I was intrigued to see this one-time Darktrace salesperson, now helming legal tech efforts, sharing her views in London's The Times recently.

Her selling experience comes from inheriting a 30-strong salesforce when she joined her present place three years back. Previous to that she built a brand new salesteam from her to fifteen in her first Sales role.

A couple of areas I'm not sold on her advice. One is with recruitment. There may well be something 'lost in editing' here, but she almost seems to advocate hiring only those who see solely the finish line of gaining the signature. This massively goes against what I consider the true path, namely pursuing process driven sustainable success. Although she is on the money by suggesting "you need to hire people who want to sell".

Another is how she 'manages' the sales team; "here are your metrics". Perhaps falling into the same trap as the above misdirection.

Anyway, here's seven of her pointers, that do apply. Not all especially earth shattering but useful gauging nonetheless.

In Britain we get a bit wary of being in sales, but we should celebrate it. It will build your career in so many ways.
I feel this lament. Years ago the most relatable of English Industry titans, Troubleshooter John Harvey-Jones, kept saying everyone ought have a stint in Sales to truly understand commerce, people and themselves. His early career selling sojourn stood him in great stead, and so it should anyone that wants to become tomorrow's winning chief exec too (although you can stay in the arena as a profession for quite the while as well).

We look to hire for attitude; ... tenacity ... resilience, people that keep going.
As someone who once did a spot of corporate branding around the mnemonic ᴘʀɪᴅᴇ (passion, results, initiative, delivery, effort) this pushes at my open door.

You must understand quite a technical problem and solution and distil that into a way that is simple.
On occasion the sesquipedalian need not be mistaken for the over-complicated. Yet the ability to break down an issue, and then its resolution into easily grasped constructs, realities and emotions is vital.

Where sales teams go wrong is they have incredible technology but they sell all the functionality, the features. People get overwhelmed by that.
One of the basics. Long since have Benefits prevailed beyond these, to be built on by Value and even Legacy. Her following message on this rightly reminds of really listening to the buyer with deep probing questions to get to grips with being in their shoes.

Each decent sized deal was emailed to whole company saying who and why they bought.
Size is a misnomer here, mind you. It should be every deal that reinforces the problem we're out to resolve, and the marketspace we wish to inhabit.

Age is no barrier.
Totally. 'Young enough, good enough, seen enough'. There could be more of this. Although there's the other end of the scale too. Let's not neglect those wishing to switch into selling at (sometimes, much) later career stages.

Training the sales team is important.
Lastly, a mantra I'm duty bound to vigorously applaud. It's still galling to me how many salesteams pay lip service to this. In some respects, it's down to the paucity of high calibre options out there, but still, there's often an internal and tailored focus lacking too. And it's not a mere once-off approach that wins big, either.

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