I was speaking with a senior sales leader and we were discussing the importance of confidence in sales. While confidence is a great attribute for a sales professional, it often manifests itself in the form of an arrogant sales person who doesn’t think much of his boss or company.
Arrogance is a poor substitute for confidence and alienates customers as opposed to building a relationship as a trusted advisor. As sales leaders, we need to take the time to help sales professionals build real confidence in their company, their manager, and, most importantly, themselves.
Sales professionals want to work for companies that produce high quality products, provide excellent service, and respond quickly to client requests. Just as the customer must trust the sales professional, the sales professional must trust that their employer will help them meet, and exceed their customers’ expectations. This trust is a natural source of confidence for the sales professional.
Their sales manager also plays a key role in building confidence. Sales people must see their manager as someone they can trust and learn from, as opposed to merely a boss who tracks results and tells them they should be selling more. Effective sales managers need to set reasonable expectation, communicate clearly, listen, and, most importantly, provide ongoing sales coaching that allows the sales people to develop and improve their selling skills.
For the sales professional, self-confidence is not something we should take for granted. While sales professionals must have some innate level of confidence given their chosen profession, it is our responsibility as sales leaders to ensure they have requisite selling skills and knowledge (industry and product) to guide their customers through the purchase process, add value along the way, and establish themselves as a trusted advisor who customers will continue to rely on.
About David Jacoby
As a Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, David helps large B2B sales organizations improve sales performance. Previously, David was a Principal at Linear Partners, a sales consulting firm providing sales strategy, sales operations, talent management, and interim management services to emerging growth companies. In the past, David has served as Vice President of Business Affairs of Xylo, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company's business development, sales operations, legal affairs, and financing activities.