More and more of the leaders we speak to in professional services firms recognise the importance of enhancing sales capability as they pursue growth during challenging economic circumstances. In the past the language used has typically dressed sales up as something else…. client origination, business development, practice growth etc. But this is no more.
Individuals too also recognise the need to develop their sales capability if they are to be successful. However, being open to the idea of “sales” isn’t necessarily the same as feeling equipped and capable to carry out this critical element of the role. Firms are typically very good at communicating the requirements to progress as a leader, articulated through bespoke frameworks and values statements that create clarity, and they put a lot of effort into supporting new and emerging leaders. However, provision is more patchy and ad-hoc when it comes to developing B2B sales capability. There are very few sales frameworks out there and training, when it takes place, tends to focus more on the sales process than the person and the behaviours and attributes required to be successful in strategic sales.
That is changing as clients recognise the importance of nurturing and retaining their people, in the context of the scarcity and expense of finding top talent in the market, if they are to achieve the growth they seek. Today we are seeing firms create training academies and defined career paths for sales professionals, in a manner similar to leadership development programmes, that provide their client-facing teams with clearly-signposted opportunities for progression.
At Bloojam, we work with clients to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the key drivers, behaviours and attributes that drive superior B2B sales performance. Successful organisations are able to apply this knowledge to promote and hire people who want to be on that journey and to develop them once in the role. Using such a blueprint helps to demystify B2B sales for both the individual role holder and supports organisations to supercharge the performance of their client-facing teams.
Sarah Clapperton is a Director at Bloojam Consulting and a Chartered Business Psychologist, with 20 years’ experience working in selection and development. She specialises in working with leaders and senior salespeople.
Bloojam Consulting offers a range of robust recruitment and development tools and interventions, including the Acuity for Strategic Sales suite of psychometric assessment and development tools.