Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Best Sales Practices

A recent event triggered a chain of thoughts for me. Just about 5 years ago a CEO of a funded startup company sent me an email about the sales tactics we using at the time. He stated in his email that when looking at the market, the price point, the sales cycle and the weather that our sales tactics were out of place. That the company I was managing the sales process for was going to be going out of business, unless we changed our tactics to match his suggestions (he included these in his email.)

The event that I referred to above is a piece of news I saw the other day, where the company of the CEO who emailed me was going to stop conducting business; while the company I worked with 5 years ago just keeps rolling on. This piece of news brought to mind a lesson that I learned very early in my career, just because something is a best practice in one organization, does not mean that it will be a best practice in your organization. And that sales tactics should be adaptable as conditions change. Everything changes overtime, and a sales tactic that is spot on today, may be not as good of a solution when market conditions change. And market conditions always change.

When looking for a sales leader an organization should look for a candidate who can take what they know, and apply it in an intelligent manner to the company’s situation. Never settle for someone who is going to take their experience and force fit it into your organization. Something that I see intelligent individuals overlook all of the time is that once a “Best Practice” leaves the environment it is a “Best Practice” in, it is just a case study that may or may not apply to your unique set of circumstances.

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