The secret to success in sales is finding “the best mentors on the planet,” says Justin Boldt. These are people who will take you under their wing, take you on appointments, and give you good questions to ask. Despite how talented they are in their own right, they will still ask you questions in order to get your thoughts so that you can think through the process for yourself.
Because no one knows everything about sales. The secret according to Boldt, is collaboration. If you’re facing a difficult situation, talk to your colleagues. They can open you up to a fresh perspective. Smith agrees. He says, “people fail because they don’t ask questions.”
Where You Work Makes a Difference
Since so much of the way we work involves sales, making a change in industries (i.e. what you sell) will depend on the foundation you have and what you do with it. Boldt made the pivot from an enterprise-level company to a startup. The difference in the way the two company’s initiated him was clear, and had a lot to do with the size of the organization. The enterprise-level company had a 2-week orientation process, while the startup handed him a training manual, walked him to his desk, and wished him luck after assigning him about 300 customers.
The secret to going from an ‘ordered’ onboarding process to a ‘firehose’ approach is in taking your time to find out the right answers. Boldt would listen to his voicemail or read through his emails and try to figure out the solution before responding, rather than just jumping right into writing or calling the customer back. It’s tricky because, as Smith points out, there is “always work to be done” so there is a challenge when you think “you got to get it done right then.” Boldt combats that by realizing everybody’s busy, it’s important to do what you can to come with answers.
Milestones that Matter
For context, Boldt offers these key milestones as a way to track your onboarding progress (and acknowledge your success):
- First 3 months is a firehose experience, so hang in there and ask a lot of questions. This is key when working for startups because there may be no defined training.
- First 6 months is when you’re starting to feel comfortable. In fact, you may realize you can answer about half of the client’s questions on your own: That’s a win!
- First 12 months is when you can answer all client questions on your own.
The important part to emphasize here is that there is marked progress that you can make, but also you will be able to notice your growth which can help you stay motivated as you work toward meeting your (and your organization’s) goals.
What does it take to succeed in sales? Read the full article at Cloutera.com.