By Tibor Shanto

The first day of the sales year is always a special day.  Some sales people tell me it reminds them of their first day of school, an interesting view.  Some see it as “doing it all over again”, hoping for slightly better results; others see it as blank canvass of opportunity, where they can create another sales masterpiece.

Often the difference between the two, is how they leverage their previous sales year; taking inventory of what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly why.  Unfortunately, many sales people fall into the habit of only considering the outcome, with less focus on the “why” it turned out as it did.  Without this understanding, it is difficult to know if the outcome was a result of technology, overwhelming need on the part of the client, your unique sales approach, or just dumb luck.  By understanding these and other elements, one can begin to plan how they will change and or maintain and improve elements of their selling approach and execution.

Day One is a special no matter where you fall on the scale, but imagine what Day One is like for someone entirely new to sales, or even a company.  Better yet, imagine stepping into a role where there is a proven offering, but no sales team, no process to work with, little or no access to what has transpired in the past.  Talk about a blank canvass!

Sales Reality

While this year, as I have for over 10 years, (yes, this blog is in its 12th year), I will be speaking to ways you can execute better, sharing news from the world of sales, I will also be chronicling the adventures of two fellow sellers.  The first is new to sales, we’ll call her Nancy, she is selling to industrial buyers, who are truly looking for a “complete provider”, that according to their web site “can deliver expertise, innovation, and a means to take full advantage of their solutions”.  Having a mechanical education/background, Nancy feels confident in her ability to hold her own with potential buyers, who range from executives/owners, to engineers, product development, quality assurance, and oh ya, procurement.  Nancy reports to her new manager today, and clock on her sales year should start around noon ET.

The other person we will be following is Trevor Stevens, some of you may know him, I’ve known him forever.  Trevor has been around sales as long as I have, and at times is more opinionated, and even correct (but not politically), than most in sales.  Trevor, has been up to different things over the years, but has recently accepted a challenge to take on a role as a player coach with an innovative tech company.  First challenge, there is no one to coach.  Trevor not only needs to build a team, but he needs to build a pipeline, and drive revenue, all together.  The blankest of all blank canvasses, the type Trevor enjoys painting on the most. It reminds me of the EDS guys, building an airplane while it’s in flight.

Throughout the year, I will share situations they face, steps they take, and resulting outcomes.  I will also be sharing scenarios they face, seeking your suggestions and insights, all in an effort, to ensure that Nancy, Trevor, and you, have a killer 2018, and that Day One 2019 is full of momentum and success.

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