5 Ways To Develop A Globally-Ready Sales Force: William Gilchrist of Konsyg
Building up a key pillar in every successful enterprise
Sales is the lifeblood of every entrepreneur and enterprise in every market. It is the most overlooked, and often, most misunderstood trade in business. A multi-cultural, and at times, multi-lingual skill set is required to do most sales in the region and very few companies prepare their force to take on this wave of expectation. A great deal of CEOs (and in some cases, sales leadership) are without regional sales experience. Some MNCs even desperately bring in western management who are without APAC experience to cover markets like India and Japan. We need to fix this.
There are 5 things we can do right now to prepare for the global sales stage. With these five steps, we can bring more scale to the rapid growth of innovation in Singapore.
Sales is the most versatile skillset on the planet. Singapore is full of young and hungry talent from its undergraduate and graduate programs looking for direction. Technology leaders need to begin finding ways to engage this generation in pursuing sales-related paths. There should be more sales curriculums and internships to show young talent what they need to be prepared for in the workforce.
Develop regional-specific sales training. (Be patient, the revenue will come)
Set people up to win. On-boarding training is not the end of the journey for developing sales talent. Ongoing training modules are equally important and investing in sales training will be the lifeline of a sales team. Do not assume that everyone can simply sell after interviewing well and landing a job. Moreover, the term “you are either born a sales person or you are not” is a myth that excuses away the lack of adequate sales training within organisations.
Fuel the hunger with real incentives to reduce attrition
A great deal of sales roles today have bonus caps. Very few entry level positions have On Target Earnings (OTE) that hit the six figure marks. It is necessary to promote the new sales functions with aggressive and attractive bonus plans beyond the norm to showcase a career-long opportunity in the trade.
Hire sales leadership with extensive people management experience
Your top sales earner might not necessarily be the best sales manager. The shift from individual contributor to team lead or manager is quite difficult. The scope of people management is a challenge which also requires training and experience. Very few training programs focus on sales management, and this is as important as training the reps on the ground.
Create a sales culture designed to hit multiple markets
We live in times of intense diversity. It is laughable to call Southeast Asia a market, when each country within the region requires unique selling outlooks. Creating broad strokes over the region leaves gaping holes in the ability to build out scalable revenue. We need to not create any shortcuts and develop our sales representatives with a clear understanding of what it takes to get the job done country by country.
William Gilchrist is the Founder of Konsyg — Singapore’s Enterprise Sales as a Service provider. In this series on BLLNR.sg, he plans to further the dialogue of sales in Asia Pacific.