Having worked in Corporate America for the last 15 years, you see it all the time. A newbie comes in and makes noise by selling more than the other sales reps and a month later they pull you aside and ask what does it take to get promoted? Normally, management will give a vague idea of what needs to be done which is normally keep selling, learn the business and get some experience under your belt and we will revisit this conversation at a later time. Sound familiar?
I have been in sales for a little over 20 years and luckily I have learned the ropes fairly quickly and have put myself in the position of getting noticed and moving up in the companies I have worked for. Is this the norm? Not at all. Why is this and what does a sales rep have to do if they have plans of getting promoted into a senior sales level or into leadership? I’m here to break it down for you and hopefully give you a blueprint on what needs to be done to move up the corporate ladder.
Work As You Owned the Company
If you owned the company you work for as a sales rep how would you handle the responsibilities of the company? How would you provide top of the line service to your clients and customers? How would you handle the day to day operations? You need to work as if you owned the company and you were a one man show. Management, Operations and Sales is ran by you. You wouldn’t be working a 9 to 5 and you wouldn’t settle for half ass results. Everything you do would be looked at in a business standpoint so at the end of the day, you would make it a priority to bring business in. That means no zero business days. How profitable are you as an investment and are you looking at the long term relationship with your clients and what each client is worth. Are you going to drop prices repeatedly just to get the sale? Look at things from a different perspective and people will look at you differently as well.
Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
Initiative. Show and take initiative but remember it’s not only how you hold yourself as a sales professional, it’s all about actions. Every organization wants to know who there players are and who to invest their time and resources into. It’s not about doing your job or being #1 in sales every quarter or even how many President’s Achievement trips you have won. Do you ever take on the leadership role that you desire? Are you standing out from the crowd by not only showing you know how to do the job but you are willing to share your secrets to success as well as train on it. The best sign of a leader is someone who can take something that may seem complicated to others and simplify it. How about creating systems or recommending systems that will improve results for the office or strengthen the culture in the office. Take on a leadership role not because you have to but because you want to and finally it’s all about higher learning…become a master in your craft by investing in yourself. What was the last book you read or the last training seminar you attended? Invest in yourself and others will invest in you!
So, take the advice and create your opportunity. Companies need innovative career minded sales professionals that can transition into leadership roles. Take off your rep hat and put on your leadership cap. Work two levels up at all times and promote yourself and then you might turn the heads of those executives.