I can’t name a single business that has failed as a result of over-paying sales people. Its probable there are a few, and I’d love to hear that story if you know of one. Its certainly possible to create a sales compensation package that is overly generous – but in general, commissions are designed to be a percentage of sales. Therefore, by definition, if commissions are rising, then so are sales.
Video games certainly have changed since I was young. Today’s video games have over-arching stories, character development, video interstitials, plots and sub-plots, awards and minigames, social integration, challenging gameplay, and certainly lots of amazing graphics.
In the 1980’s, video games all nearly had one objective, and then you got to repeat that objective over and over again, at an increasingly quickening pace, until you lost. You couldn’t “win” at any game because these games didn’t really have an end. And, when you did lose, you threw in another quarter and tried again – trying to get further and further along. Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, etc. They all operated like this.
Several years ago I joined an internet company as a sales rep, and in about 3 months, I became the top salesperson. At the national sales meeting, one of the other reps came up to me and asked how I was having so much success. I responded, “I’m honestly not that sure that I’m ding anything revolutionary. It just seems that these people are happy to take my call and after explaining the product and how it solves their problems, they are willing to buy.” He stared at me blankly for about a minute and then said, “…You call them?”
I wrote a guest post on Frank Peters’ blog yesterday on my thoughts on entrepreneurship in Jordan and the rest of the Middle East.
You can read the article here: http://www.thefrankpetersshow.com/archives/2011/03/jordan.html
In order to be a great salesperson and/or a great entrepreneur, you have to have conviction. You have to believe in your own vision, and in your own ability to execute on that vision if you have any chance of success
In an established company with an established product, you can count outbound calls, and you can require minimum amounts of calls, because you have a defined product, a defined market, a defined price, and a well-defined pitch. When all of those are in place, then you can very easily dictate that it is simply a numbers game – and you insist on driving as many calls as possible to get the required results. It will be well defined, that 100 calls leads to 10 sales, or something like that.
I don’t think that I can remember the last time I ate a nut out of a shell. I have more than one nut-cracker in my house, but I cannot recall the last time I purchased or ate a nut that wasn’t shelled for me already. And, to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I saw a nut-shell. Yet, salespeople and other people presenting to me constantly use this phrase.
The point here is not that nobody looks at the shells of nuts anymore, its that it is maddening to me to hear salespeople or anyone for that matter using tired and meaningless cliche’s like this one in their pitches.
Happy New Year. The new year can bring about positive and negative feelings for a salesperson. Its a great new start to a year, and a new chance to crush it. But… it also probably means, you lost your accelerator that you were enjoying from crushing it last year, and now you have to start all over. You are on an even playing ground with other salespeople, when you were enjoying being on top. If you missed your mark last year, perhaps this is your chance to shine and make sure that you beat your numbers this year.