Who Are the Award Winners on Your Sales Team?

By Josiane FeigonSmall BusinessAllBusiness.com

Every year, exceptional actors are honored for their performances in film. And every year, we answer Oscar polls, enter pools, and watch with excitement as the stars show up to receive their golden statues.

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Admit it, most salespeople have a secret desire to be actors but sales is a much faster and more professional way to make good money. And every day, salespeople put themselves out there, acting for the sake of the sale:

  • We give the most persuasive presentations at quarter-end.
  • We respond to prospects’ emotionally driven purchasing concerns.
  • We’re sublimely convincing in selling product that may never get made!
  • We mirror prospects, becoming who they want us to be.
  • We read and respond to body language and use the power of our voices.
  • We hold ourselves to the highest standards of excellence.

What about your team? Don’t they deserve honors? Yes, it’s quarter-end, and salespeople are fiercely working to make it to the President’s Club. But this is different. Take a minute, look around, and consider who deserves recognition:

  • Best at Having High-Level Conversations: This person is fearless and can engage at the highest levels. He knows how to speak the language and how to address the “hot buttons” that keep executives awake at night. He’s smooth with communications and drives the sale from a high-level, big-picture perspective.
  • Best at Closing: She knows how to move a sale along. She’s patient, persistent, and very focused on driving the close. She always projects accurately, and she’s reliable and steady.
  • Best Technical Advisor: Everyone calls on him before they call technical support. His technical knowledge isn’t “geek talk” but sales talk, and the customers listen and understand. He makes it all sound simple.
  • Best Prospector: She loves to pick up the phone, send out an email, and generate new opportunities. She doesn’t look at it as prospecting but as research. She has a driving curiosity to engage people and assemble a puzzle that fits.
  • Best Leader: He’s a manager who knows how to grow, build, and drive his team. He’s a leader in the true sense, and his people will follow him anywhere. He connects through empathy and self-awareness; he knows how to manage people who are different from him; he’s ambitious and driven toward results.
  • Best Newcomer: She raises the bar and sets new standards. Although she may be new on the team, she hits the ground running and makes an excellent first impression. She goes beyond beginners’ luck — she knows what she’s doing.
  • Best Team Player: Everyone wants him on their team because he’ll make them win. No matter what rumors are flying around about possible mergers, acquisitions, etc., he knows how to rally the team and get people motivated.
  • Best Adaptation of a Screenplay: She’s a whiz with words and can finesse any message into a winning proposition. Far from relying on the typical script, she takes risks and uses new approaches to address the customer with exciting, vibrant messages.
  • Best Supporting Person in a Major Account: He’s responsible for bringing in one of the biggest deals in the quarter. He was the first contact, made the biggest impression, developed trust, and knew how choreograph a cast of characters that took the sale to the next level.
  • Best Actor in a Foreign Script: She’s highly intuitive and sensitive to the customer. She understands buyer behavior and how customers want to be sold. She takes full responsibility for understanding the cultural idiosyncrasies within each of her organizations’ international partners.

And the winner in your organization is …

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Josiane Feigon is author of Smart Sales Manager and the best-sellingSmart Selling on the Phone and Online. She is a pioneer, maverick, and visionary in the inside sales community. A 20-year veteran of the industry, she is the founder of TeleSmart Communications. Since 1994, this San Francisco-based solutions provider has been a leader in developing inside sales teams and managers. Josiane is recognized among the Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals and as a leading expert on inside sales team and management talent. Her thought leadership blog is ranked in the Top 50 Sales blogs by SalesCrunch. Connect with her on Twitter and YouTube!