Has your sales team said to you that they need more referrals and better references? If you have heard this from your team, this is the article for you. The reference selling model was something I developed at NetApp and was a key part of my onboarding process and well as our team's regular selling motion. In 2008 our team represented 1/58 of the sales force and about 20% of the case studies. In fact, one customer enjoyed this process so much they gave us an award. The benefits of this model include:
I recently mentored a young sales person regarding the nuances of the sales cycle. He relayed how much activity his firm generated by end of quarter. He exuded pride for the energy created from his sales managers’ added pressure and end of quarter discounts that bolstered sales. My friend was surprised to hear me say that, as a sales leader in my own company and my previous companies, I de-emphasize end of quarter sales pushes, and we rarely offer end of quarter discounts.
I recently finished the book Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. I really enjoyed chapter 9 which is entitled "sell out". In the chapter, he rails against the notion that is wrong to get paid for your work. On page 168, Austin tells the story of the man who had a guy come up to him after a poetry reading and told him that his poetry reading changed his life. When he asked him if he wanted to buy a book for five dollars he said, "Nah, that is ok." Austin Kleon writes that "sold out" is the best sign an artist can put on his work. Reading this chapter reminded me of the Occupy Movement. My goal is not to be a occupier, it is to create something truly special. If I am paid well for it, that is one measure of my success. Yes I do want to be the 1%. My goal is to be the best I can be.