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If you’re in sales or even sales management, you know at any point in time you are executing on a series of techniques - open a call “x” way, manage your pipeline in “y” fashion, use “z” email subject line, etc. With regards to said techniques, it’s important to remember that fashions come & go, and what is popular today can be replaced tomorrow. However, for star performers, underneath all the surface technique lies something more permanent, something deep & unchanging whose weight provides the gravitas of the game - Principles.
Principles are propositions that serve as the foundation for our belief systems. In other words, it’s the shit you shouldn’t forget. The clearest use case of principles in the tech world is company values, and although I think stating values is a good exercise, I’ve never found the macro nature of these mothership principles to be that helpful in doing my job - they are usually some variation of make good decisions, make money, and don’t be an asshole. That being said, applying the exercise to what is most important in your sales role is something that can be highly effective, whether you’re an IC, manager, or department head.
To illustrate, here are the sets of principles, with meanings, I used as a rep, a manager, & a VP:
Accurate inventory: A full, clean, & accurate pipeline is more important than bottom-of-funnel finesse.
Steaks over burgers: Step on the gas at goal to get accelerator dollars.
Zero out the day: Don’t let unfinished tasks compound & keep you on perpetual defense.
Plan by the minute: Make the most of your time.
The prime directive is teaching: Your knowledge is far more valuable than your opinion.
Don’t ask for performance: Not performing here & there is okay - deciding not to perform is not. If we have to ask you to get your head in the game, you’re in the wrong game.
Big ears are better than big egos: Listen, check your own biases & gut reactions, and give up the big chair so people are heard.
Do what I say I will: Be freakishly reliable.
The minimum standard is excellence: You set the bar & tempo for how everyone else behaves. Excellence or lack thereof will refactor across your organization.
Top 25% hiring: Only allow offers to go out to candidates we believe have the potential to be in the top 25% of our organization.
Always the 5 point underdog: Never let complacency follow success.
Never make decisions out of fear: Be disciplined in what we do, and how we execute.
Real recognize real: If you hire good, smart people, they will see through bullshit. Be authentic.
Needless to say, your role will have its own needs & requirements, which can & will change. Finding a small set of principles to adhere to, regardless of the noise around you, can keep you on a steady course to success, even in turbulent times.