Clarity For Account Executives – Part 1
What To Do When You Feel You’ve Lost Control Of Your Territory…
I work with a lot of Mid-Sized Technology companies to help them coach their revenue rainmakers to deliver results and margin to their organizations. One topic that comes up a lot in those discussions with their Account Executives is how do I get back in control of my territory and feel like I’m focused on doing the best things to help me serve the customers and close business providing them great solutions? Great question! I decided to put together a two-part blog on this very topic, so here’s a good start at an answer.
- Act With A Sense Of Urgency: I’ve noticed that the highest performing Account Executives in the Sales Industry always know when to act like they’re on their way to a fire, and when they can calmly relax and stay in their rhythm. You need to realize as a Sales professional that excuses won’t cut it, and falling short of what your company is expecting from you is not a viable option. Your company DEPENDS upon you to find innovative ways to solve problems for your prospects and customers and to establish and nurture valuable long-term relationships. Your revenue and margin pay salaries for the support teams that run the business. Without that revenue and margin, things get painful very quickly. So, a sense or urgency is tremendously appropriate, isn’t it?
- Network For Success: No great sales professional ever did it all by themselves. You need to build a team of fervent supporters, including your inside sales team, your demand generation team, your marketing team, your pre-sales architect or engineer, your sales manager, your executives, etc. Leverage EVERYONE within your company to be great supporters and find ways to help them contribute to your success. Outside of your company, be constantly seeking and building positive relationships with prospects, customers, competitors, alliance partners, coalitions partners, etc. The world is a big place, and you want to have hundreds or thousands of allies thinking about how they can help you, and who they can introduce you to, that might help lead to a business opportunity for you. Consider networking a way of life, and never stop working at it.
- Focus On Serving Others: Occasionally, I’ll run into a sales professional who has gotten worn down, and narcissism has begun to set in. They cannot get past themselves, and always jump immediately to “What’s in it for me?” Look, I get it, we need to take care of #1, right? But, there is a better way to get there. Focus on your audience, folks! Give to others, first. Add value. Encourage them. Help them. Introduce them. Educate them. Don’t wait for someone else to go first. Serve your teammates and prospects, and don’t forget about serving your manager and your customers. By extending value first to others, you get the human desire to reciprocate working for you. By giving to others, you set up a vicious cycle of others giving back to you, and you’ll be surprised frequently by how often their giving happens at JUST the perfect time. Go first, and give first.
- You Have Choices: Now and again, a discouraged Account Executive will bubble over in frustration when we’re talking, and let me know that they cannot find the time to get back to calling the shots about how their time is spent. Let’s be completely honest. Every one of us has Masters that we must serve from time to time, and there are meetings and trips that we must attend because the chain of command dictates it. But for heaven’s sake, DON’T let yourself actually believe that you don’t have any choice in most matters. The 80/20 rule is in play here most of the time, and frankly, most of the time we DO have choices, hundreds of them, about what we’re going to do first, second and so on. Commit to making the BEST decisions you can about when you’re going to travel, when you’re going to train yourself, when you’re going to see customers and prospects, etc. If it’s not up to YOU, then who exactly is in charge in your territory?
So, if you’re an Account Executive who wants to get back in control and feel like you’re doing everything right in your territory, this list of ideas would be a great way to start. Check out the second part of this article this Wednesday to get you going on the right path again.
Michael is an award winning business coach in Minnesota, where the leaves are turning this time of year. Michael enjoys working closely with many emerging sales professionals to help them ascend the leaderboard in their organization. He has built a powerful coaching program that helps Account Executives to maximize the potential in their territory, by focusing on the fundamentals of mastering the art and science of selling solutions. Subscribe to Michael’s “Coffee With Michael” e-newsletter where he regularly gives away valuable content to subscribers and offers special once in a lifetime offers to workshops and online courses of extraordinary value. Michael is the CEO of Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting and enjoys helping Emerging Leaders to deliver ambitious results.