Last week I had a particularly exciting moment. I had to write two 5-figure commission checks for two of our top sales reps, and surprisingly a commission check for our MDR who had extra time after qualifying inbound leads and so she started closing deals. We call her Meghan “Oops I Closed a Deal” O’Donnell.
What’s the big deal? Aside from the fact that we offer a 20% uncapped rip on every $1 you bring into the company here at ToutApp, the big deal here is that two of my top reps were never in Sales before. In fact, one of them explicitly told me “I don’t want to do Sales. I don’t want to do Sales” at her job interview, and the other started as a Marketing Intern at ToutApp and I convinced her to “help out and call some customers” when we were overflowing with leads.
Duh. Sales is changing.
On one hand, I feel incredibly happy to be paying forward the value that my team delivers. In fact, it is my hope that every single person in the company earns some form of commission for value delivered to the customer, even Engineers. On the other hand, as someone that thinks deeply about where Sales and Marketing is headed (see my article on Wired for more on this), I couldn’t help stop and think about what this all means for what it means to be a “salesperson.”
The experts have been preaching on and on and on about how “sales is changing” — yes we get it, it’s all changing. The experts have also been going on and on and on about “social selling.” I had to have Jill Rowley explain to me what “social selling” was because to me, and to most of us that haven’t sold before LinkedIn, Google, or ToutApp existed, before “Inside Sales” became a “thing” and before we had to specifically define “Consultative Selling” — quite frankly, we, us amateurs in Sales, just call all of this stuff: SELLING.
Anyway, I digress. The point here is that it is old news that “Sales is changing.” In fact, Sales has changed. That’s old news. It’s done. What’s new and more pressing today is that the definition of a successful salesperson is changing. I’ve been bugging Jen, one of our top sales reps, who also frequently blogs, and helps make marketing videos, to finish writing her blog post on “Sales Pros vs. Sales Bros” because I think it perfectly articulates what it actually takes these days to be successful in Sales.
Sales is definitely not this guy anymore:
And, Sales is no longer this slick clean shaven well dressed bro either:
Sales today looks more like this, normal human beings:
Salespeople today are no longer defined under a stereotype. The most successful salespeople today are not the Type-A “meat eaters,” they’re not the ones that can “sell anything, close anything, don’t give a damn.” Salespeople today could quite frankly be you, the person that hasn’t sold a day in your life, but you are a real person, an intelligent person, a humble person, a self-reflective person, a person that can communicate, a person that belives in delivering value, in solving problems, in being the best that you can be. YOU can be a salesperson.
Everybody is selling something
Truth is, at some point in our industry, salespeople started to get a really bad rep. And so with the onslaught of incredible access to information via Google, with companies like Dropbox, like Atlassian, and to a certain extent, a huge part of the valley decided “To hell with Salespeople.” Maybe it was the slick Oracle salespeople, maybe it was the used car salespeople, maybe it was both, but we all decided, we don’t want to be lied to anymore.
And yet, it looks like the pendulum swung back in the other direction. With the biggest SaaS companies showing incredible growths, their glimpse into their balance sheets show how a majority of their spend always goes toward “Sales and Marketing.” But this time around, as the pendulum swung back, Salespeople came back with a vengenance.
And the reason salespeople made a come back is because we as human beings realized that even with Google feeding us all the information we need, with all the white papers, and automated nurture campaigns, we still just wanted to talk to another human being. And when a human being talks to another, that, my friends, is when selling happens.
Whether you’re the founder of a company, or you’re a teacher at a parent teacher conference, or you’re a PR person pitching your story to a reporter, you’re selling, and you’re in sales, and you’re doing it with pride, prestige, and honor.
Your Career In Sales
And so with this new definition of a salesperson, if you’re feeling stuck in your career, or are unsure about where you fit, or are looking to take your own development, the amount of money you make, and the amount of value you deliver to the next level, YOU should consider a career in sales. Because sales has changed, and it wants you, the person that emodies the human spirit of being social, of connecting, of helping others and of thriving and building wealth for yourself and your customers. We’re hiring by the way.
If you’re interested in a career in sales, we’re building a massive army of salespeople:
Learn more about becoming a Sales Happiness Officer