8 acronyms to get you leading in sales

At Peakon, we have one goal, to build the number one employee experience platform in the world. I know it’s not an easy task, but if you can find the right team and get them pulling in the same direction, anything is possible.

My role in achieving this goal is running the sales team. I’m trying to do this in a slightly different way. I wrote about it here. The way sales teams used to work aren’t effective anymore. Today’s generation of new salespeople is motivated by different things compared to mine. Running a team today as a juggling act. While you need to ensure revenue growth, you also need to make sure your ultra-ambitious team members are fulfilled.

 

 

The key to making this work is instilling solid values from top to bottom in your team. When you have values and don’t compromise on them, you will win because your work will be great. Plus, through applying these values, your team members gain the skills necessary to be successful anywhere. Values are the foundations of a successful sales leader.

If you know me or have seen one of my talks, you’ll know I believe that acronyms are a great way of memorising the detail. In my team at Peakon, we use 8 acronyms to underpin our values, and I’m going to share them with you now. If you can apply these values to your sales career, you will put yourself on a path to becoming world class.

1 – WIT – Whatever It Takes

At Peakon, whatever task we turn our hands to, we will do whatever it takes to be successful. It’s all about the customer. Our products play a part in our customers’ success. They rely on us. As a result, nothing will get in the way of us finding a way to win for them. If we need to stay late to finish that proposal or make that last phone call, we do it. If we need to get up in the middle of the night to run that demo in a different time zone, we do it. There’s no such thing as ‘somebody else’s job’. We leave no stone unturned. The extra mile is the best part of the journey.

2 – SOU – Sense of Urgency

Our industry is super-competitive. If you can’t give the customer what they need, when they need it, you will not succeed. Great salespeople never put off to tomorrow what they can do today. Customers feel valued when they’re looked after with a sense of urgency. Within Peakon, we know that the sales team powers the rest of the business. We want to reward hard work from the rest of the business by ruthlessly focusing on driving revenue.

3 – EA – Excellence Always

The important part of this acronym is ‘always’. I already know my team members are capable of excellence. What I need is for them to be excellent all the time. This comes down to two things, discipline and focus. It’s what you do when your manager isn’t watching. The best salespeople are always at their best.

4 – KYB – Know Your Business

Good salespeople know their product back-to-front. Great salespeople know their entire business. Firstly, they know their numbers. They know their target, they have a plan to hit it and they know where they are on that plan. When you know all the details that make you successful, the conversion rates, the average order values, every other important number, you greatly reduce the risk of failing. Next, the best people don’t just know everything about their product, they know all about their competitors’ products too. They’re experts in their marketplace. Finally and most importantly, the best salespeople know their customers. They know their motivations and their pain points. At Peakon, to quote Stephen Covey, we seek first to understand, then to be understood.

5 – PBR – Persistence Beats Resistance

In his terrific book ‘The War of Art’, Stephen Pressfield identifies the universal force that stops you doing your best work, Resistance. Resistance takes many forms. It could be fear of failure, impostor syndrome, even fear of success. The only way to beat Resistance is to show up every day. Never stop battling it. Do the work.

6 – LAT – Loyalty, Attitude and Tenacity

These 3 traits are what embodies a successful, confident salesperson. To me, loyalty means doing what you say, to your manager, to your colleagues and to your customers. To be successful in sales, you need a can-do attitude, like WIT, nothing is ever ‘someone else’s job’. Finally tenacity, that’s an appetite for winning. At Peakon, we will fight harder than anyone else to win. It’s important to say, I don’t believe these traits are coachable. I can help you present better, and I can help you close deals, but you’re either LAT or you’re not. That’s why when I hire salespeople for my team, I hire on behaviours, not skills.

7 – JFDI – Just F**king Do it

One thing I try to give my team members is freedom to fail. I am happy for my people to fail if they fail fast, and they learn from it. If they have an idea which they believe will lead to success? JFDI! You learn nothing from the mistakes you never make.

8 – TA – Team Approach

At Peakon, our team win and lose together. As their leader, when things go against us, I make sure I’m the first into the battle. I protect my team from pressure from above in the company. I make sure they can’t be distracted from their mission. Between us, we’ve created a shared sense of achievement. We’re proud of what we’ve made so far at Peakon and proud of our part in it.

I hope these little acronyms help you make improvements in the way you approach your sales career.

Over to you now. What do you think? Which acronym resonates most with you? Do you have any nifty little sayings that have helped you achieve success? Leave us a comment below.

At Peakon, we have one goal, to build the number one employee experience platform in the world. I know it’s not an easy task, but if you can find the right team and get them pulling in the same direction, anything is possible.

My role in achieving this goal is running the sales team. I’m trying to do this in a slightly different way. I wrote about it here. The way sales teams used to work aren’t effective anymore. Today’s generation of new salespeople is motivated by different things compared to mine. Running a team today as a juggling act. While you need to ensure revenue growth, you also need to make sure your ultra-ambitious team members are fulfilled.

 

 

The key to making this work is instilling solid values from top to bottom in your team. When you have values and don’t compromise on them, you will win because your work will be great. Plus, through applying these values, your team members gain the skills necessary to be successful anywhere. Values are the foundations of a successful sales leader.

If you know me or have seen one of my talks, you’ll know I believe that acronyms are a great way of memorising the detail. In my team at Peakon, we use 8 acronyms to underpin our values, and I’m going to share them with you now. If you can apply these values to your sales career, you will put yourself on a path to becoming world class.

1 – WIT – Whatever It Takes

At Peakon, whatever task we turn our hands to, we will do whatever it takes to be successful. It’s all about the customer. Our products play a part in our customers’ success. They rely on us. As a result, nothing will get in the way of us finding a way to win for them. If we need to stay late to finish that proposal or make that last phone call, we do it. If we need to get up in the middle of the night to run that demo in a different time zone, we do it. There’s no such thing as ‘somebody else’s job’. We leave no stone unturned. The extra mile is the best part of the journey.

2 – SOU – Sense of Urgency

Our industry is super-competitive. If you can’t give the customer what they need, when they need it, you will not succeed. Great salespeople never put off to tomorrow what they can do today. Customers feel valued when they’re looked after with a sense of urgency. Within Peakon, we know that the sales team powers the rest of the business. We want to reward hard work from the rest of the business by ruthlessly focusing on driving revenue.

3 – EA – Excellence AlwaysThe important part of this acronym is ‘always’. I already know my team members are capable of excellence. What I need is for them to be excellent all the time. This comes down to two things, discipline and focus. It’s what you do when your manager isn’t watching. The best salespeople are always at their best.

4 – KYB – Know Your Business

Good salespeople know their product back-to-front. Great salespeople know their entire business. Firstly, they know their numbers. They know their target, they have a plan to hit it and they know where they are on that plan. When you know all the details that make you successful, the conversion rates, the average order values, every other important number, you greatly reduce the risk of failing. Next, the best people don’t just know everything about their product, they know all about their competitors’ products too. They’re experts in their marketplace. Finally and most importantly, the best salespeople know their customers. They know their motivations and their pain points. At Peakon, to quote Stephen Covey, we seek first to understand, then to be understood.

5 – PBR – Persistence Beats Resistance

In his terrific book ‘The War of Art’, Stephen Pressfield identifies the universal force that stops you doing your best work, Resistance. Resistance takes many forms. It could be fear of failure, impostor syndrome, even fear of success. The only way to beat Resistance is to show up every day. Never stop battling it. Do the work.

6 – LAT – Loyalty, Attitude and Tenacity

These 3 traits are what embodies a successful, confident salesperson. To me, loyalty means doing what you say, to your manager, to your colleagues and to your customers. To be successful in sales, you need a can-do attitude, like WIT, nothing is ever ‘someone else’s job’. Finally tenacity, that’s an appetite for winning. At Peakon, we will fight harder than anyone else to win. It’s important to say, I don’t believe these traits are coachable. I can help you present better, and I can help you close deals, but you’re either LAT or you’re not. That’s why when I hire salespeople for my team, I hire on behaviours, not skills.

7 – JFDI – Just F**king Do it

One thing I try to give my team members is freedom to fail. I am happy for my people to fail if they fail fast, and they learn from it. If they have an idea which they believe will lead to success? JFDI! You learn nothing from the mistakes you never make.

8 – TA – Team Approach

At Peakon, our team win and lose together. As their leader, when things go against us, I make sure I’m the first into the battle. I protect my team from pressure from above in the company. I make sure they can’t be distracted from their mission. Between us, we’ve created a shared sense of achievement. We’re proud of what we’ve made so far at Peakon and proud of our part in it.

I hope these little acronyms help you make improvements in the way you approach your sales career.

Over to you now. What do you think? Which acronym resonates most with you? Do you have any nifty little sayings that have helped you achieve success? Leave us a comment below.

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