A Rebrand for the Sales Game

Kyle Ferguson
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Sales gets a bad rap. No one likes to be sold, and no one likes “salespeople.” 

So why have salespeople done such a bad job selling the job!?

Maybe we shouldn’t even call it selling; how about problem-solving or helping people to buy? 

One part of it is our culture where people don’t want to be sold because they want to make their own decisions. 

The other part of it is bad salespeople making a bad name for the craft.

Some things we can’t control, but as far as the things we can control, sales can use a rebrand. Especially if we want to attract the next generation of talent to it.

Let's go piece by piece and break down what can be improved.

The first is the quota. Hitting quota is fun, and I love doing it, but for those outside of sales, quota sounds like you're going to get beheaded if you don’t hit it.

It sort of dehumanizes the job. In sales, you ultimately get judged upon one factor, hitting quota or not? 

And that's fine because a lot of things are like that, but the word branding of goal setting as quota is not exciting. Why not just call it goals? 

Goals are relatable, goals are exciting, and quota is meh. 

So let's just rebrand it to goals, okay? 

And second, the most hated part of sales is cold calling. People don’t like getting them and a lot of salespeople don’t like doing them.

It makes sense to distinguish between calling someone who has never heard of you versus someone you have a relationship with, but we need to be selling our sales people on the idea of making these calls. So how about a rebrand? Maybe let’s try outbound calls.

Lastly, commission. 

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE commission. Who doesn’t like a chance to make more money? Many of us got into sales because we want to earn a commission, but it seems to have a negative connotation.

Maybe we can call it a bonus instead? It's not the perfect solution, but I think you get the point. 

When you boil down every job, there is an aspect of sales to it. There’s relationships built, goals being hit, and money being earned. Even in your day to day life, living with your spouse or family, haven’t you tried to pitch them on getting a new car, trying to go on a new adventure, buying a new toy? You’ve pitched someone on something in your life at some point. Sales people aren’t out to get you, they’re actually very similar to you. Aren’t we all sales people at the end of the day?

Understanding Your Market

The success of any startup relies heavily on understanding the market it operates in and identifying the ideal customers within that market. Understanding your customer and becoming a subject matter expert is key, especially at the formidable stages.

By having insight into potential customers, you know what problems you should be solving with your product and how to communicate in a way that appeals to them.

The market is the broader industry that you serve. The ideal customer dives deeper into who your product is the best fit to serve. It's a way to segment your customers.

You might not know who your product best serves yet, and that is okay, but it's important to hypothesize and test who is.

Make some assumptions about what would make a customer a good fit for your product and test those assumptions otherwise, use your current customer base and data to guide you.

Here are some of the key steps to understanding your market and identifying your ideal customers:

Understanding Your Market

1. Research industry trends and news: Stay updated on current and emerging trends in your industry. Search Google news, read articles and follow the right people on social media to gain insights into customer preferences and potential opportunities.

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