Great Salespeople Are Made, Not Born.
But It Does Help to Start Early.
Salespeople are always in demand. The great ones have multiple job offers, and the good ones have a few as well. There are lots of reasons for this, but they all come down to one thing: salespeople who are truly great at what they do tend to be very successful.
It is true that the ability to sell is a talent, but it is also true that this talent can be learned and improved with practice. What people need to understand is that selling well is something that needs to be learned, not something that just happens naturally. It can’t be developed overnight, and it requires practice and experience in order to get better at it.
The best salespeople I know never stop learning about selling. They read books on the subject; they listen to audio programs on selling; they take classes on selling; they take continuing education courses in sales techniques, and they always try new things in order to improve their performance. In other words, they don’t just show up for work and hope for the best. They do everything possible to develop their talent as a salesman or saleswoman because it’s not something you can just expect to happen by itself if you are doing nothing about it!
The same is true for startups. The best startups I know are constantly improving and growing their sales process. They are constantly testing new ideas, refining the things that work, and eliminating the things that don’t work. They know that in order to grow they have to sell, and they never stop working on their sales process.
One of the biggest mistakes startup founders make is thinking that great salespeople are born, not made. They believe that if they find someone who has a lot of drive and is very energetic, then they have found a great salesperson who will take care of all their needs without any further training or effort on their part.
The reality is that you can’t just assume that if you hire someone who has a lot of energy and is very aggressive that they will become a great salesperson. In fact, there is a good chance they won’t! This is because many people with lots of energy aren’t natural-born salespeople; in fact, many people with lots of energy are natural-born competitors who have been successful in sports or other areas but don’t necessarily make good salespeople because they tend to be aggressive rather than persuasive, too assertive rather than engaging, and too blunt rather than diplomatic.
This is why it is important for startup founders to understand that they have to put a lot of effort into developing their salespeople. They have to work with them, coach them, train them, and help them to improve their performance. This is why the best startups I know invest a lot of time and energy into training their salespeople; in fact, they take great pride in doing so.
If you are a startup founder who believes that great salespeople are born, not made, then you need to understand that this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make! It will cause you to waste time and money on hiring people who don’t work out well as salespeople, and it will also cause you to lose credibility with your prospects because they will see through your lack of attention to detail. It is just not worth it!
What Startup Founders can do to develop Great Salespeople:
Startup founders who are serious about developing great salespeople need to understand that they can’t just hire someone and assume that they will automatically become great salespeople. They need to put in the time and effort required to train their salespeople, and they need to do it on a regular basis.
What does this mean? It means that startup founders need to do everything possible to develop their salespeople. This includes training them, coaching them, teaching them, and helping them to improve their performance. It also means helping them to overcome any weaknesses they have, which can be done by showing them how to adjust their approach when needed or how to get past objections from prospects who aren’t buying what they are selling. In other words, it means being willing to help your salespeople succeed because if you aren’t willing to do this then there is no reason for you to expect them to do well!
The best way for startup founders to develop great salespeople is by creating a good culture in the company where everyone is held accountable for their performance. This means that you have a system in place where your salespeople know exactly what results are expected of them each month, and you have a system in place where they are given the tools and training they need to succeed. It also means that you have a system in place where your salespeople are encouraged to take risks and try new things, because if they aren’t willing to do this then they will never become great salespeople.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.