Reaching your PEAK potential isn’t really about sales. It’s about people. Last week, we gathered in Nashville with 250 of the smartest leaders from today’s top sales organizations to learn, share and network at PEAK ‘22. We talked tactics and tips, competition ideas and championship rings, enablement and coaching—but underneath it all was the same resounding thread. People are powerful, and when we invest in them, the numbers will follow suit. 

Lauren Bailey, Founder and President of Factor 8 and GirlsClub and one of our PEAK ‘22 keynote speakers said, “Learning is not something you did, it’s something you do.” As we think about how we’re striving to BE GREATER in 2023 and beyond, we’re taking these key learnings from PEAK ‘22 with us. 

Make Salespeople Love Their Jobs Again

There was no better way to start the day than proudly yelling, “I’m in sales, dammit!” with a room full of passionate, driven sales professionals—but many salespeople today don’t feel this way about their jobs. 

Lauren Bailey explained that for every 10 reps you hire, 7.5 of them quit. 60% of sales managers will fail within the first 2 years. We have a huge opportunity to help people love working in sales again. How do we do this? We make work fun, focus on rep development, and create work cultures that elevate people over numbers

Renard Smoots, Senior Manager of Leader Development at T-Mobile, also emphasized the importance of a people-first sales culture. “A sense of belonging keeps people to people, not to a company. And that’s what a leader is set out to do: build culture, inclusion, and ownership.” When sales leaders establish a strong team identity, everyone feels that sense of belonging and stays connected to a bigger vision.


Let People Lead Your Business Agenda 

Running a people-first sales organization means customers come first, too. But let’s be honest. The discovery process isn’t really designed to help customers. It’s designed to help salespeople. Doesn’t sound very customer-first, does it? 

To become a more buyer-centric and people-first sales organization, Doug Landis, Growth Partner at Emergence Capital, explained that it’s essential to view selling as a series of conversations and listening, not “discovery” or “prospecting.” When we do our research ahead of time, we don’t waste a buyer’s time. We come prepared with a point of view that will help prospects consciously make the right decision about how to best solve their problem.

The need for a more customer-focused buying process translates directly to your enablement programs. We must start training our people beyond the concept of “discovery” as we’ve traditionally known it. Jen Allen, Chief Evangelist at Challenger™, explained that we do this by involving the customer’s perspective when building our training and enablement programs. How was their experience, and how can you make it better? 


Be the Coach that Authentically Cares

Good coaching is data-driven, but not data-dependent. Data can’t tell you the whole story. The numbers are your way into better and more impactful coaching conversations. If you see a high performer dropping off, ask them why. Let the data inform you, but don’t let it take away from the human element of managing—because when you encounter challenging times, focusing on people is more important than ever. 

When the world changed overnight in 2020, Jon Barrows, CEO of JBarrows Sales Training, didn’t scramble to try and control the numbers in an unpredictable and volatile economy. Instead, he picked up the phone and checked on his people. This is the trademark of people-driven leadership. When we value and invest in our people on a personal and professional level, they’re more likely to excel at work because they’re reminded that they are valued beyond what they do at work. This is how we get people to show up and show out. 

This year’s sales summit was one for the books. Couldn’t make it to PEAK ‘22, or just hungry for more inspiring sales thought leadership? Subscribe to the A-List here and get Ambition’s monthly digest of can’t-miss sales content sent straight to your inbox. 

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