If you’re a member of a sales force, or in sales management, there is always practical information you must know. You need to know as much as possible about your own products. You need to have a firm grounding about your particular industry and market. Today especially you must have as much insight as possible into your prospect companies, their buying processes and their decision makers.
But what about the overall economic environment in which you operate? Seen or unseen, that environment has principles operating every minute of every day. The very idea of sales is actually rooted in economic theory. And while it may seem that such theory would constitute very dry reading, be a struggle to understand and really not needed or desired to operate in the day-to-day sales environment, the exact opposite is true. These principles are in fact easily grasped—and the vision they provide can go a long way to assisting you in understanding the background of your very existence within the business world.
Salespeople, Sales Managers and Natural Laws
Whenever you are conducting an activity, you are following a concept. While doing so, how aware are you of the philosophy or natural law underneath it?
Through many mistakes and (for some of us) painful personal experience, we have learned that the law of gravity must be followed. When you fall, there is often pain. As we’re growing up, we learn not to jump from too high a height. Misestimating that height, we learn just how real that law of gravity is.
There are core principles underneath everything we experience. If you don’t understand these principles or, worse, neglect them, your life can be ruined. You can’t go out and say, “I’m jumping from the cliff, but hey, everything will be fine.”
In the same way, there are core business principles that are founded in very similar laws. For example, if you have not learned the basic principles of mathematics, you’ll end up being badly ripped off in commerce and in the business world, simply by not knowing how much you should pay or even something as simple as how much change you should receive back.
This all goes forward into sales. There are core principles rooted in economic theory that we will be laying out in this new blog series that, when followed, make sales successful. You can apply them on a daily basis. When you don’t follow them, you are investing your time, energy and money incorrectly, and will not be successful.
Salespreneurs and The Big Wave
What is an entrepreneur? An entrepreneur is someone that is able to see opportunities that others would not, and possesses the ingenuity to figure out how to exploit that opportunity for his or her own benefit, the benefit of the community and even of a nation. They have a reliable instinct for estimating the risk in an opportunity and gauging when they should act or not. Entrepreneurs welcome the challenge of being responsible for their own incomes through good and bad. They naturally operate by their own observations, their own conclusions and their own decisions.
I invented the term “salespreneurs” because salespeople are very similar to entrepreneurs. They are, in fact, “entrepreneurs within the enterprise.” They, too, excel at spotting opportunity and acting upon what they see. Sales reps are born risk-takers, and generally have an idea of which risks to take and which to avoid. Rather than be salaried employees, they much prefer working on commission and creating their own financial gains, willing to take any losses in stride. And they definitely operate through their own observations, conclusions and decisions.
It’s crucial, however, that salespreneurs–salespeople and sales managers–understand the laws under which they’re operating. Today we’re in an expanding economy, the “big wave” side of a boom-and-bust cycle. I’m sure that everyone reading this wants to successfully ride that big wave. But if you don’t understand the natural laws governing that wave, you won’t be able to ride it. There are principles behind it that are as foundational as gravity.
In this series, we will be exploring the major principles that make up the economic landscape in which salespeople and sales managers operate. We’ll cover the importance of sunk costs—costs that your company has already invested in products or services that must now be profitably recovered through your sales efforts. We’ll go over opportunity cost—the investment your company must make to achieve a sale, and how that affects your actions. We’ll take up the vital importance of subjective value—the perceived value of your product or service in the mind of the prospect. We’ll address comparative advantage—the principle of optimizing a sales force based on differing strengths of salespeople. And we’ll take a firm look at sustainable value—the longer term value of your and your company’s sales activities and how they affect your economic survival potential.
The principles which we’ll be discussing are not new—in fact they are 150 years old and come from the Austrian School of Economics, a school of thought that is probably more relevant in today’s economy than when it was first invented.
In applying these principles, you will in fact be following the lead of an economic founding father, Henry Hazlitt, who I am paraphrasing here to to fit our sales platform:
The bad salesperson sees only what immediately strikes the eye; the good salesperson also looks beyond. The bad sales manager sees only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good sales manager looks also at the longer and indirect consequences. The bad salesperson or sales manager sees only what the effect of a given market principle has been or will be on one particular group; the good salesperson or sales manager inquires also as to what the effect of the market principle will be on all groups.
So how do these principles apply to sales and sales management and, further, how can they be utilized in CRM? We welcome you to make the discovery with us.
Pipeliner CRM fully supports the natural laws of sales. Download a free trial now.