Family, food, football. There are a lot of traditions that come with the Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, the most important is reflection. Compared to so many others, we all have much to be thankful. And that’s especially true for those working in the world of modern selling. No other profession has provided so much to so many on the simple basis of merit. Forget pedigree or family connections, the rewards of sales start with hard work and determination.
And the rewards of the profession continue. Yes, sales is becoming increasingly complex, but it’s also becoming increasingly compelling. There are many things people involved in sales should be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here’s our take on just a few:
1. Demanding buyers are an endless source of learning. Every day sales professionals grow just by interacting with customers and prospects. New business models, emerging industries, innovative technology. Salespeople have a front-row seat to explore it all. We should be thankful for this continuous intellectual stimulation and our role as agents of change.
2. A growing commitment to sales enablement to help reps and managers become better professionals. And our data suggests sales enablement investments will continue to rise. New training, technology and tools – sales enablement is seen as real competitive differentiator by world-class companies. In contrast to other functions, we should appreciate the increasing corporate attention to performance enablement.
3. Mistakes, and the learning they’ve provided. Sales is a field of continuous experimentation. Every opportunity or interaction provides a chance to test new thinking. And to be fair, not all experimentation ends well! The very best sales professionals not only embrace failure, they learn from them. Let’s be thankful for the endless variety and unpredictability that comes with sales. But let’s also commit to taking full advantage of our missteps.
4. Compensation programs that help us achieve our very best. Sales can be a great meritocracy. The best sales organizations have a clear and direct line between effort and rewards. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of our colleagues in other functions. No comp plan is perfect, but improving sales incentives is a priority in most companies. We should be very thankful for our incentive model and the focus on continuous improvement.
5. Meaningful and genuine relationships. Despite new technology, sales continues to be a people business. Relationships include customers and prospects as well as the internal relationships we form. So many sales professionals ‘fall in love’ with the companies they serve. And the bonds formed between new rep and front-line manager can last a lifetime. Let’s appreciate the unique breadth and depth of personal relationships that comes from our profession.
We believe sales is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding career. Let’s be honest, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for this holiday. So take a few minutes from your daily grind to appreciate all the good things about our profession. If we can help you or your organization realize the benefit of sales, sign up for our new 2018 Sales Enablement Trends report here.
On behalf of The Brevet Group, Happy Thanksgiving!