A million dollars in the bank. Taking the stage for your TED Talk. Rolling up to the club in that one sports car. A house with a white picket fence. There are hundreds of visions of success that could resonate with you, and some that will not. So how do YOU define success?
Nobody goes into sales without some vision of success. But sometimes that vision is vague, and new salespeople often get frustrated and lose motivation because, while they may be making money, they haven’t determined what their personal success looks like.
We encourage all of our sales managers and team leaders to have one-on-one discussions with their salespeople as soon as they hit the field, if not sooner, to help them determine their vision of success… and to come up with a game plan to achieve it.
To that end, we’ve put together a 3 step process for helping you and your team define career success:
Step #1 To Define Career Success: Discover Your “Why”
Success is an important thing to define. After all, your vision of success drives you. It motivates you to keep pursuing your goals in the face of adversity.
Simon Sinek, a brilliant business mind, calls the process of discovering this motivation “Finding Your Why.” (If you haven’t seen his TED Talk on the topic, check it out. Seriously. It’s that good.)
The idea behind this is to discover, not just your hopes and dreams, but also the reason why you have those dreams to begin with.
This can be pretty simple. “I want a Ferrari.” Why? “Because we weren’t affluent enough when I was a kid to buy stuff that I wanted, and I want to change that.”
It can be more complicated, and may involve some deep emotions. “I want to support a big family.” Why? “Our parent wasn’t around for us as kids, and I want to be there for mine.”
Your ‘Why” could be anything. And you can have more than one. But look to the the strongest, most compelling reason why to get up and get out of bed in the morning… because a weak reason won’t inspire big goals, or motivate you to achieve them.
You can want affirmation. You can want to be a helper, or a mentor. You can want to make an impact in the world and right injustices you see around you. (Admit it, that one was a pretty strong ‘Why’ for Batman.)
Regardless of what your “Why” is, you need to know that deep motivation in order to more carefully define what that success looks like, tangibly.
Step #2 To Define Career Success: Determine Your Long-Term Goals
Most people fail in clarifying their vision of success because they try and put this step first. You can see that above: people have a big goal they want to achieve, but you need to push them to get to Why that goal matters to begin with.
But when you do this in order, by determining your “Why” first, your goals become bigger, clearer, and more compelling.
For example, let’s say you try to develop your goals first. “I want to buy a house.” Well, there are a ton of reasons to buy a house. To make a smart investment. To live in a comfortable space. Because everybody else is doing it.
But if none of those reasons align with your big underlying motivation, your goal will be flat. Lifeless. Unmotivating.
If, on the other hand, you develop your “Why” first, and learn that you deeply want to be a good family provider, buying that house means something completely different to you. You’ll be naturally driven to achieve that goal.
Think of your goals as natural extensions of the root reasons behind them. If you deeply want to be healthier because your family member died young from a heart attack, a goal of losing 25 pounds is a strong, natural extension from that. You’ll be more motivated to achieve that goal than someone who’s just trying to lose a couple pounds for bikini season.
Think big, and think personal.
Step #3 To Define Career Success: Make A Plan
Now that you know why you do what you do, (and you’ve determined the big, wildly important goals that naturally flow from those deep reasons,) it’s time to make a plan of attack.
You don’t go from being broke to walking into the Ferrari dealership. You need a plan.
Specifically, you need to determine a series of smaller goals to help you achieve your big one.
Work backwards from your big, long-term goal and figure out what you need to get there.
For example: the Ferrari costs money. You get money from making bonuses and getting big commission checks. You get bonuses by consistently exceeding sales goals. And you exceed sales goals by working on your process and practicing your pitch.
Now you have a smaller, tangible goal that you can work on. Get better at your sales pitch. You can implement plenty of tactics to get there, but that goal will be the big domino that pushes the others into place to get you where you need to be.
Your goals should be SMART. (That is – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Specific.) If you need help defining a reasonable SMART goal, work it through with a manager.
Think about what the next few months need to look like. Do that, again, by working backwards. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? What needs to happen 1 year from now to make that happen? What happens next month to make that happen? Next week? Tomorrow?
Making goals that you can attack with your simple daily habits will move the needle quicker than you think.
Sales managers and team leaders: you’re not exempt from this either. Learn your why, your long-term goals, and your short-term goals… so that you can help your reps get there too.
No Matter Your Reasons: Stick By Them
This all makes a lot of sense. But there are still a ton of disappointed and unmotivated sales people out there… that are making a ton of money. They’re angry, and they’re bitter, because they’ve been working to accumulate money without knowing the reason why they’re doing it.
They’ve been chasing someone else’s dreams and values… not their own.
Sales is a roller coaster. There are ups, and there are downs. Results will always be inconsistent. So the only way to be a consistent sales success is to determine your real definition of success and chase hard after it. To build a career environment where you can live by your values and not have to compromise them.
If you’re looking to find a career that can help you achieve your long-term goals, consider applying to Solcomm.
At Solcomm, we are direct sales leaders in the Telecom industry. We believe in providing the training, flexibility, and opportunity to help salespeople find their “Why.” We sit down with all of our reps, one-on-one, to help create a roadmap to their tangible long-term goals.
Apply today to learn how we can help get you there, together.