I met my next guest, Enza Burgio, at AAISP UK, the American Association for Inside Sales Professionals the chapter President, Kevin Kelly, introduced us. An experienced professional trainer, she has developed her knowledge over the 28 years working with Pitney Bowes in field sales. She eventually moved into training, and her focus is to enhance latent capabilities in new sales recruits and to hone the skills of experienced sells professionals.
Talking about COVID19, Enza said, every day you should take something from that day, take it and put it into your new experiences, harness it and then make it your new way of being. There was much activity at the start; it was okay to be a little bit in shock. It is useful if you put your energy into learning something every day and move forward with a plan to take to your clients.
In COVID you either had to keep your client’s going and keep yourself going. Enza advises channelling a vision for yourself, to be up working every day, whether working with clients or working on yourself. Keep the momentum going, have rest periods, keep a robust structure, learn something, and implement it because, she said, that is how we grow. It does depend on your mindset a little bit, but structure, plan and activities keep most people going, especially in a pandemic.
All companies are restructuring, reshaping, re-analysing themselves, which has given them a different view of how they want to be or how they are. Now, we now must put the customer at the front of everything we do. Pitney Bowes was my breeding ground, a great corporate experience where Enza learned everything from field sales through go-to-market strategies into telly-sales. It was very much about the product being the solution, that was the context. Now, it is what is the client context, and how can we dovetail into it? I think you must be much customer-centric. There must be the return on investment, stating what can you do for their business rather than just helping them get things done. It has gone from tactical or a service implementation into being part of their support services and partners.
A LinkedIn survey stated buyers want active listening by 42% then problem-solving was number two by 38%, and 3rd was relationship building. In contrast, sales managers hired recruits more for problem-solving and less on active. There is a gap between what buyer want and seller deliver.
You must have a plan when onboarding based on what your customer wants from day one. Enza said of her customers; the business development or sales manager wants a person who can pick up the phone, craft an email, do some social interaction with their network, what they need is the capability to do it. Enza has a roadmap the sales cycle, and the sales framework, and these are the behaviours you need. It is the behaviours that are dovetailed into the sales process.
Enza specialises in the telephone as a primary sales channel, and all you have is your listening skills, you do not have the body language although this is changing with COVID because now we have Zoom.
There is this big misconception that sales all about talking, but it is about asking a well-posed question and genuinely listening. Enza helps recruits understand the whole sales cycle. Why we have sales in a business, enterprise, or business entity and how companies make money, the different channels and revenue models like SaaS. Enza said salespeople must know where they fit and how their behaviour supports that fit, and that is where the magic happens. Yes, do your research to understand where the customers probably going to go, but still have the courtesy to ask the poignant questions and not tell them what you found out about them?
Enza found that selling has been quite an equal place to work. Back at Pitney Bowes diversity and inclusion was huge, she worked in a team where half the salespeople were women, although ethnic minorities had less representation. We were all given a chance; if taken on board the learning you could achieve your goals. Her parents are from Sicily.
Sales are the leveller, as you are as good as your last deal. Enza has found that sales are the place where you can be yourself the most. However, it is hard to get female equity, and the truth is less represented by ethnic minorities. The companies who work on their diversity and inclusion strategies, it is easier to walk in and see it through the salesforce. We still have a long way to go, especially in these times. Statistically, when women in sales, they tend to be crushing it. However, there are many barriers to getting in the door. Enza acknowledged that we both do a lot of mentoring outside our roles.
She suggested we continue to make that a difference through the companies that we work with and the customers we work with delivering the message the diversity is good for business, and here is how.
Enza said applicants must show their personality. Some of the big corporates are using video methodology to recruit, can see how they present. Enza warned that unless you map the behaviours, that you are requiring. When looking at the introvert and extrovert salespeople, to understand the quiet of people and interviewers to interview them.
Small steps, marginal gains, this is my strategy for 2020. If we look at the things we can do and work with the clients to achieve 1%,2% marginal gain, then this is a great achievement. Intrepreneurship means if we all work together and if we all do our little steps with those small increments, everybody will do better. Talk to customers about the little things that you can do. Have a plan, and roadmap of where you will travel together and be realistic about your targets and what you are going to do.
You have got to influence people, marginal gains tried and tested, helps you build a relationship, and you get results they will trust you as somebody who knows what they’re doing and who delivers.