By Cecilia De Benedictis
The investor Warren Buffet said: “There’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.”
It’s powerful advice, but easier said than done. It’s difficult to prioritize self-investment amid all the distractions in our daily lives. One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to read two books every month: one fiction and one related to my personal or professional development. So far, I have finished a grand total of one—and October is fast approaching. My excuse is that I have a small gang of feral children at home so the time I could allocate to sitting and reading a book is easily wiped out negotiating someone melting down about a crease in their sock or trying to prise a shoe out of the dog’s mouth.
But why is that? Why is it so difficult for people to prioritize personal development? The costs of not continuously learning are huge. If we’re not continuously learning, our challenges and struggles are never going to get any easier: we’re all just a load of Evel Knievels, hoping this time we’ll make it as we ride through life trying to jump through the same burning rings of fire.
This notion is incredibly central to achieving success in a career in sales. When it comes to sales, you can’t stand still. Failing to prioritize your individual development and growth will cause you to lose out on critical opportunities. If you want to stand out among your competitors and cut through the noise with relevant, personalized engagements, you must continually be educating and investing in yourself. Adaptability and an eagerness to learn are some of the most powerful attributes a sales team can possess.
That leads me to how working at a company like SalesWorks, where “Never Stop Learning” is one of our five core values, is so crucial to success. If I struggle to dedicate my personal time to self-investment, it’s essential that it is a key priority where I work. Since I began here two years ago, the company has seen huge change. Our team is significantly bigger, our customer base is growing rapidly, and we’re constantly hiring. But rather than sit back and relax in its success, the SalesWorks team sits down and rethinks. We are continually reassessing and reworking our services based on lessons we’ve learned from recent clients. We “never stop learning,” which means the product we deliver to our clients is always new, relevant, and continually evolving.
My own journey to working in sales at SalesWorks has also involved an enormous amount of learning. I started off doing some part-time administrative work, juggling work with a new baby at home. As he grew, so did my role at SalesWorks, until it made sense for me to be working as a full-time employee. So here I am. The admin has been replaced with demand generation and business development, so you’ll find me prospecting, both inbound and outbound, and driving pipeline alongside 90% of the people we train. The fact I didn’t come with a sales background isn’t relevant - SalesWorks training doesn’t rely on a natural ability that somehow makes you better at sales than someone else, but rather a scientific formula that goes alongside a desire to learn, the capacity to self-reflect, and the drive to apply new learnings. Yes, there are innate talents that definitely help - it’s difficult to learn empathy and rapport building - but knowing what questions to ask, how to handle objections, or how to actively listen are examples of skills that can be trained.
I’ve been lucky enough to be coached by Shabri (our CEO who is the most understanding and supportive advocate for my return to the workforce and transition into sales), James (who kindly and empathetically helps me build my confidence), and Matt (whose bold, no-nonsense attitude means I walk away from a one-on-one meeting inspired to be brilliant at sales). This coaching has empowered me to be successful when talking about SalesWorks to our prospects, partners, and customers: not just because I’m constantly being trained by the best, but because I am selling the very product that has helped me so much.
On a daily basis, we’re lucky to have a conversational intelligence tool that records our calls, so they can be reviewed and discussed by the whole team: not just to give coaching and advice, but to build on and improve our product and service offerings. Today, I ran through one of our trainer’s new modules with him. I did this partially to give him my feedback, but also for my own personal development. It helps me ensure that on my calls with potential clients, I am armed with the knowledge needed to truly understand their needs and nuances and successfully demonstrate how SalesWorks can help.
We’re a small team of responsible individuals: responsible not only for our company’s growth but also for each others’ personal growth. So if you’ve ever sat on a call with me and thought, “she’s got a lot to learn,” don’t worry: I’m always learning.
Request a consultation with SalesWorks to learn more about how a partnership with SalesWorks can help your sales team become empowered, confident, and effective sellers.