My first official sales job was slinging memberships at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. I am in debted to them in many ways. I don’t think I would have had the success I’ve had to date without that first job.
My job was simple. Sell Chamber memberships to Denver based companies. The memberships cost between 325 dollars and 10,000 dollars. Each level cost more and provided greater value to the company. To sell memberships was simple. You had to make a lot of calls. The more calls you made, the more deals you closed. There was really no trick to it. It wasn’t very complex. Make a lot of phone calls. Build your pipeline, be religious in the follow up and you would make your number.
What I liked most about the Chamber, however, was how easy it was to do your job. They made it easy to make all those calls. In many ways, they were the best run sales organization I’ve ever worked for. They didn’t bog you down with numerous meetings. Reporting was easy. You reported on your numbers once a week, in a simple spread sheet. Preparing your numbers was a snap, because there were only a handful of metrics. They never asked for reports mid-week or mid quarter. They learned to manage the numbers on the reports given weekly. There was very little unplanned intervention and never any fire drills.
I flourished in the environment. I broke numerous sales records during the year I was there. Every morning when I started my day, I knew exactly what I needed to accomplish to make my number and more. There were never any surprises. Less than 5% of my time was spent managing internal requests or processes. I was left to do my job. My time was mine to succeed or fail.
Not all companies subscribe to this philosophy and I think that is problem. The best thing a company and a sales organization can do for it sales people is make it easy to sell. Companies need to set clear simple goals; create clear, simple comp plans; minimize reporting to a few key metrics, and provide simple delivery processes. The more time spent not selling the less sales will be made.
Is sales easy in your company? Make it easy, it pays off.