Finding your enjoyment

So why do we sell?. Not how to sell, or habits of successful salespeople, but WHY.

Looking at the available articles online and the turnover statistics it would seem that a lot of salespeople are fundamentally in the dark about why they do their job. If the problem was really how, then surely one of the “About 922,000,000 resultsĀ (0.68 seconds)” from a Google search of Successful Sales would provide the answer?

With all that’s written about sales and how to succeed, it’s a fair bet that a good percentage of salespeople are unhappy at any given time. A recent article posted on Linkedin provided the following statistic:

“45% of B2B sales organizations report annual rep turnover higher than 30%.”

Assuming that the polled companies are representative of the whole, this would mean that in a sales team of 10, about 3 people leave in a given year. That tallies with my experience in multiple companies over the past two decades.

To me, this can indicate a couple of things:

  • Salespeople are always on the lookout for something better
  • Management in B2B sales organizations really struggle when it comes to talent retention.

Setting aside the typical external factors that most salespeople cite as reasons for leaving (Bad boss, lousy pay, unrealistic expectations), what can you do to enjoy your job more? What if the grass isn’t always greener in the next job?

What part of sales do you actually like?

Firstly, I’d like to invite you to think a little about what part of sales work you actually like. I mean really like. Not the bit where you get your commission cheque at the end of a good year. That’s not part of the job. That’s a result of enjoying the job and doing it well.

Do you enjoy:

  • Prospecting?
  • First client meeting/discovery?
  • Networking?
  • Finding a good solution together with clients?
  • Asking for the business?
  • Delivering what you’ve promised?
  • Negotiating?
  • The contracting work in CRM after the sale? Just kidding – I’ve never met anyone who enjoys that most. But if you are that Unicorn, good for you!

My very best sales experiences; the ones that I think about on bad days when things are tough, are the ones where the client and I look across the table at each other and agree that I have understood their needs.

Summarising what we’ve just talked about and voicing my understanding of it out loud to the client feels to me like a high-wire act. I’m putting all of my skill and experience on that line and trusting myself not to lose my balance as I propose how to move forward.

The rush from getting the “that’s right, that is what we need to do and you’ve suggested a great way to do it” is what I enjoy.

That, in a nutshell is why I sell. Why do you sell?

When you find your reason, it’s a big step on the way to unlocking enjoyment.

Next time I’ll be writing about unrealistic expectations and how they can get in the way of enjoyment.

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