Trending This Week: A Sales Manager’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

October 20, 2017

Zombie Apocalypse

With a new season of AMC’s The Walking Dead set to premiere this weekend, you know what’s on our brains?

Braaaaaiiinnnsssss.

Survival in the hit show’s apocalyptic world, much like in the sales profession, is largely dependent on three things: training, tools, and teamwork.

Lacking the know-how to stay hidden from walkers? Prepare to join their ranks. Unequipped with the means to defend yourself? Good luck holding off the hungry hordes. Going it alone instead of finding safety in numbers? The odds will not be in your favor.

Training, tools, teamwork. With The Walking Dead back on our TV screens and Halloween quickly approaching, we thought it might be fun to tackle these three cornerstones of selling with a zombified twist.

Training

George A. Romero, the legendary filmmaker behind Night of the Living Dead and its many spin-offs, once shared the following sentiment: “I always thought of the zombies as being about revolution, one generation consuming the next.”

Seasoned sales pros don’t need to worry about undead monstrosities clawing at their office doors, but there is undoubtedly a digital revolution taking place, and the thought of being marginalized is indeed a frightening one.

The best way to avoid such an outcome is to continually stay on top of the most effective techniques through ongoing training. Self-motivated sellers who actively seek out content and practical guidance to improve themselves are essentially future-proof. Organizations that make a point of investing in the professional growth of their reps consistently outperform the competition.

A study by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals found that Training & Development is the top challenge faced by sales leaders. Are you prioritizing this directive and actively seeking solutions?

Last month at Business 2 Community, Jeff Kalter offered some tips on providing sales reps with the knowledge they need to succeed. The LinkedIn Learning Center can also be a very valuable resource.

Tools

Every zombie hunter on The Walking Dead has their tool of choice. For Michonne, it’s the razor-sharp katana. Darryl always rocks his signature crossbow. Rick is rarely spotted without his trusty service revolver.

For the modern sales pro, it is sales enablement tools that prove critical to surviving in the field. Our chances in a sea of cold leads aren’t much better than going up against a swarm of bloodthirsty biters, so we need to equip ourselves with every advantage possible.

Sales teams that lack new-age tools are often dragging their feet while the competition enjoys added efficiency and capability. The sales tech revolution is producing all sorts of sleek innovations that can make life easier and more productive for reps. Research from Aberdeen Group shows teams that adopt sales enablement tech grow at a rate three times higher than those that don’t.

As long as we’re not talking about the zombie population, growth is good!

Teamwork

Many of the best movies and TV shows about escaping the undead share this commonality: the protagonists move in groups, and rely on one another to get by. Combining various skills and experience (plus having someone to watch your back) leads to higher odds of success. That’s true for almost any endeavor.

In sales, leaders are wise to encourage team collaboration and resource-sharing in the pursuit of unified goals. At a time where mutual connections and warm intros are so crucial, leveraging one another’s networks can be a big difference-maker.

Not only should teamwork by encouraged within the sales group, but also across departments. Sales and marketing alignment can form an unstoppable power couple, and our recent eBook offers some new statistics backing up the impact.

Feeling ready to face this brave new world of selling? Then get your squad on the same page and focus on finishing the year strong with the right mix of training, tools, and teamwork. Subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog for continued guidance along the way.

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