Entrepreneurs are lauded for their ability to see a need that the rest of us didn’t even know we had. People like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Anne Wojcicki and Elon Musk developed visions that were nothing less than revolutionary. While few can reflect on our career and know that we changed the world in such a dramatic way, the “entrepreneurial mindset” is a modern sales skill that all organizations need to develop to propel their businesses forward.
Your customers need your sales team to become more entrepreneurial to help them solve their challenges. If your sellers have the skill to look beyond what’s right in front of them and operate from the bigger picture, they’ll position themselves beyond transactional selling. By using an entrepreneur’s vision and insight, your sales team can elevate their profiles to become a valued, strategic business partners to your customers.
As a CEO or sales leader, what can you do to empower this transformation?
Inspire your sales team members to think and operate less like typical employees and more like the CEOs of their own business. Here are some ways they can begin to think like an entrepreneur.
1. See the Big Picture
Modern sellers don’t just have a territory or an attainment goal, they’re leading a business. It’s top line and bottom line, and the business becomes successful by helping customers reach their goals. They understand the current picture, but also strategize about the future of where the business is headed.
2. Offer Solutions to Previously Unseen Challenges
Anyone can help a customer solve a known, obvious problem. To stand out, a modern seller also considers the broad landscape. They see potential problems that a prospective or current customer doesn’t recognize yet, finds a solution, and helps that business get ahead of that curve.
3. Embrace Change
By nature, most people are resistant to change, bute know the status quo doesn’t work. Yaromir Steiner recently shared a resonant quote from Les Wexner: “The time to change things is when they aren’t broken.” There’s a constant challenge to stay fresh, to reinvent–especially when everything is working well. Successful entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to do it better, smarter and faster. Modern sellers must also be looking. Whether it’s a change in the business, the product or service, or at the client, your sales team must be open to different and new outcomes.
4. Learn to Bounce Back
Did you know Arianna Huffington's second book, written before the launch of her successful Huffington Post empire, was rejected by 36 publishers? Thankfully, she had the grit it took to keep going. Much like an entrepreneur, sellers will experience failure and hear a lot of “nos” before they get to the desired “yes.” They don’t let it get them down for long or paralyze them with fear. Encourage them to develop a “growth mindset” in which they are willing to take smart risks, learn more and develop resilience.
Amy Franko is founder and president of Impact Instruction Group. She helps companies achieve high-value growth by improving sales strategy, performance, and leadership. Her upcoming book, The Modern Seller, will be available in 2018. Learn more by visiting impactinstruction.com.