By Gretchen Gordon
Commitment for our purposes means the willingness to do whatever is necessary, within ethical boundaries, to be successful in sales. It means they will change, grow and adapt based on the circumstances. It combines the concepts of possessing strong determination to succeed, while being agile.
With the landscape changing so rapidly, it is essential that salespeople continue to evolve and change. The speed of change is not going to slow down anytime soon, and certainly not in the security arena. Thus, you need agile, malleable, committed sales personnel if you expect to compete effectively in today’s market and into the future.
I equate the concept of commitment to sports. And have recently noticed a couple situations where commitment or lack thereof, have made the difference in outcomes and can illustrate my point.
Example #1: Tiger Woods- Tiger Woods has clearly shown commitment to changing and adapting to his new physical constraints. He is physically unable to do what he used to do to win. And, guess what, he is again a Major Champion. He didn’t do it the way he used to. Rather he changed and adapted to his new norm.
Example #2: Lacrosse Team- I was watching a local high school lacrosse team play in the postseason tournament recently. And, what I noticed, as I did at various times throughout the season, was that the girls didn’t always trust what they were being told to do. They weren’t committed to doing whatever was necessary to win.
They were committed as long as they agreed with what was being asked, but when they were asked to change things up, they didn’t go “all in.” They lost the regional finals in what could have been a state championship year.
Now, you might say that Tiger Woods didn’t have a choice. His physical limitations required him to change. I would argue that your salespeople don’t have a choice either.
If they want to succeed — and if you want your business to succeed, thrive and grow — then your salespeople must be committed to changing, growing and adapting. They must evolve. Otherwise, they will be caught flat-footed, and they will become obsolete — resulting in your company getting passed by.
As Jill Konrath, award-winning author of Agile Selling states: “In a world of continuous change and perceived product/service parity, sellers are the key differentiator. Their learning agility becomes a key factor in their success.”
In addition to general data surrounding commitment, we have statistics with regard to salespeople in the security industry specifically.
I scoured this data and found that of the thousands of salespeople in the security industry, 63% of them possess a strong level of commitment – meaning a high willingness to do what’s necessary for success in sales, even if it means changing, growing, learning or adapting.
That is not terrible, but unfortunately of ALL salespeople, based on data of 526,000 salespeople, both inside the security industry and out, 74% are highly committed. So, as you can see our industry has fewer highly committed salespeople to doing whatever is necessary for success.
Which could be detrimental, since our industry is changing arguably as fast as any.
I did a little further analysis, because I was interested to know what the very best salespeople look like in terms of commitment. These would be the top 6% of the selling population.
What I found was that 100% of those individuals are highly committed. Roughly 30,000 people fall into this category from our database and every single one of them is highly committed to doing what is necessary to be successful in sales. These are the best of the best.
If you want to effectively compete today and you want to be around in the future, it makes sense to focus on the ability of your people to continuously change, grow and adapt. You must accurately assess their level of commitment.
Change is not slowing anytime soon in our industry, so it just makes sense that your salespeople should be able to change as well.
Of all the services we provide ESA member companies, helping them hire sales talent accurately is one of the simplest to institute and can have the most dramatic impact on sales success, since we prevent them from hiring those that lack adequate commitment.