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Building a High-Performance Solution Sales Organization
My latest article for Forbes, published this week, is “Building a High-Performance Solution Sales Organization,” It’s focused on how you, as a leader, can transform your sales organization.
I hear the same things today from C-Suite executives that I heard 10 (even 20) years ago: they want their sales team to be better at selling solutions from a consultative approach.
Why has this challenge persisted for decades? The shift from taking a transactional approach to selling to approaching sales from a consultative angle is hard. Much harder than most executives realize. It is not a shift that just happens with a few training sessions for the sales team. Sales Organization leaders have been trying to address a difficult subject with simple and streamlined solutions, which is exactly the wrong way to do it. As I point out in the article, an unrealistic expectation of scope is the most common culprit of failure.
I outlined three key steps that you need to take to truly transform your Sales Organization. And none of them are about doing more and more sales training! Here they are:
  1. Connect the Sales Organization with your strategy.
  2.  Rethink Sales Management practices and metrics.
  3. Create a culture of coaching.
This is where executives can focus their energy in driving sales results. To read more about building a high-performance solution sales organization and the three key steps to doing so, check out my new article on Forbes
Leadership is Rarely Built on Grand Gestures
When creating development plans, leaders frequently build extensive blueprints, filled with aspirational actions. What I’ve observed is that they are often filled with many things to be done occasionally. A monthly offsite. A weekly 1:1. A quarterly recognition program. While these intermittent actions may have some benefits, the most rapid and meaningful shifts come from making a few small changes each and every day. Not weekly, not monthly.
I heard about the “do small things often” approach from the renowned psychologist and researcher, Dr. John Gottman. Gottman said, “Successful long-term relationships are created through small words, small gestures, and small acts.” From what I see with clients, the same is true in leadership.
Do you want to be a more strategic leader? Take 3-5 minutes before each meeting to determine how the discussion will relate to company strategy and consider how you’ll make those connections during the meeting. Want to be communicate more powerfully? Pick the two most important meetings you have each day work on how you can clarify your message, or use more descriptive language, or create a greater connection with others in the meeting. Whatever your leadership goal, it’s not about having a long list of things you do once in a while. Rather, it’s about picking one or two, small things and being relentlessly focused on doing it every day. Over time, this changes the texture of the way others experience you and how you engage.
Leadership isn’t worsened by sporadic major events or the occasional “halftime speech” for the team. But those aren’t the common moments where people see what you are made of. How your leadership capabilities grow and show up depends on your consistent daily actions and behaviors. 
Be intentional about the small things to be the leader you want to be.
May I Challenge That?
One of my leadership principles is that you can disagree without being disagreeable. We are all in circumstances where we have a differing point of view and need to express it. The key is to find a way to do so that is respectful and preserves relationships. A few years ago, I was in a meeting where I saw a colleague do this brilliantly, with a simple question. He asked, “May I challenge that?” as a reply to an idea he believed was counterproductive. It was a rhetorical question in some ways, because in a business meeting who wants to say “No, you can’t” to that one! And it worked as he then was able to state his perspective effectively and succinctly. I can’t stress the value of this skill enough!
LinkedIn Live
I am excited be a guest on Lisa McLeod’s next LinkedIn Live on Friday, July 23rd at 1pm Eastern. We will be discussing how to drive revenue and do work that makes you proud.
Current Read
After being delayed for a year, it’s hard to believe the Summer Olympics are just around the corner! Even though there won’t be fans in the audience (a fitting reflection of the last year and a half of pandemic changes), it will still be exciting to be able to watch sports that are not typically televised. I will certainly tune in to a few of the more popular sports – some of my favorites are gymnastics and swimming. Watching Olympic swimming gives me my once every four-year motivation to get back in the pool for my exercise. This year I am also looking forward to watching some less-common sports. In my house we will be keeping an eye on sailing because my daughter is also a sailor and knows one of the US sailing team members.
This week’s read features some of the best and most inspiring athletes to look out for at the Olympics. Whether you are watching gymnastics, track and field, or even climbing, there is certainly an outstanding athlete who will capture your attention.

Edinger Consulting