As a sales leader, are you the bull or the matador? What does bullfighting have to do with sales? A lot, actually. Let’s set aside the ethical debate and focus on the traditional spirit of this ancient sport. Who typically wins this struggle? If you said the matador, you are correct. Now let me ask the question a bit differently. Who is built to win the fight? Well, when you envision the thought of 1,000 pounds of muscle and razor-sharp horns charging at you with a single mission of doing you in, odds are in the favor of the bull.
So what accounts for the winning record of matadors across the ages?
Speed, instinct, size, weaponry—none of that can beat a superior strategy. So what are the elements of the matador’s strategy? Distraction with the cape. Misdirection. Wearing the bull down minute by minute. And what do all of these things invoke in the bull? Anger. Frustration. Exhaustion.
Now, let me ask you again: As a sales leader, are you the matador or the bull? Do you often find yourself frustrated and exhausted with your sales team’s inability to reach their weekly goals? Does your sales team seem to chase distraction while wasting precious time, energy and resources? Are they effective but lack efficiency? Or efficient but lack effectiveness?
To succeed in achieving your sales goals, you (and your sales team) need to start thinking like matadors. And that means relying on a winning strategy that will allow you to take down the biggest bulls in the marketplace. Like bullfighting, sales isn’t rocket science. But there are several reliable factors involved in predicting and executing a successful strategy. In fact, there are seven of them.
1. Sales Leadership
This factor is at the top of the list for a reason. Sales leadership is critical, especially during difficult times like … well, now. More than ever before, it’s important for sales leaders to define culture and set clear expectations. They need to lead by their own behavior and value system. They need to get out of the way and trust the people they hired to do their thing. Sales leadership is an art. Don’t get caught up in micromanaging.
2. Sales Management
The volatile quality of the current marketplace can be daunting, but with strong sales management, your company can weather the storm. Good sales managers must work consistently to ensure the entire sales team is in sync with their KPIs, pipeline and goals. While sales leadership is an art, sales management is a science. Treat it as one and rely on the data, because numbers will never lie to you.
3. Sales Talent
The fact is, investing in your sales talent and fully understanding which competencies and talent profiles are most effective for your organization are critical to ensuring your company’s fiscal health and ability to scale. In the wake of the “Great Resignation,” your company’s ability to attract and retain a strong sales team is more critical than ever. But don’t think they’ll stick around for long just for the financial compensation. You also need to get them aligned with your company’s mission and invest in helping them evolve.
4. Sales Process
Getting your sales process down is one of the most critical factors behind high-performing sales teams. That’s because a sales team without a process is like a ship without a rudder. And in this climate, you can’t wait for the wind to blow you in the right direction. Not only can your sales process help define your Ideal Prospect Profile (IPP), it can also lead to marketplace opportunities. It will also allow you to scale quickly and efficiently.
5. Sales Effectiveness
Sales effectiveness involves detailed analyses of your overall productivity, efficiency, and goal achievement. After all, how do you know you’re winning the sales game if you’re not keeping score? Is your team effective without being efficient? Or are they efficient without being effective? There’s a difference between the two. You can land a $100,000 deal with a client, but if it costs you $95,000 to get there, you’re not dialed into full-scale efficiency. Whatever obstacles you face in your sales, when you measure results, you’re more likely to reach your goals.
6. Sales Methodology
If you don’t have a consistent sales methodology, you are leaving deals on the table. Period. Of course, this isn’t to imply any team should feel permanently tied to value-based selling or relationship selling or whatever else the flavor of the month happens to be. With all the variables to consider in today’s selling landscape, you should also be prepared to pivot and adapt your sales methodology to whatever your consumer base requires.
7. Sales Enablement
Is your sales team disabled by your sales enablement software? If your sales team is struggling with this factor in 2022, you’re never going to reach your sales goals. Covid-19 accelerated our need for and reliance upon comprehensive sales enablement software. When chosen carefully and used correctly, it can more efficiently connect you to customers, capture leads and close more deals.
For Whom The Bull Toils
Your sales team will never survive the bullfight if they don’t focus on perfecting these seven components behind their sales strategy. If you want them to help take your company to the next level, they need to start thinking like matadors.
This article is written by Forbes and originally published here