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Sales Leader Lessons From Ryan Seacrest

I love American Idol.  Yes, partly now that Steven Tyler is judging (Aerosmith’s Draw the Line* was one of my coveted eight album choices when I joined Columbia House’s record club in 1978).  More importantly though, it is because Idol reminds me that every day is an audition.

For sales leaders American Idol is our reminder to perform our best, every time we take the stage.  When the Chief Sales Officer does that, the sales team will too.   The whole team does it and soon marketing will join in.  When sales and marketing are both consistently delivering knock out performances, the entire company notices.   Delivery, operations, finance, product development – they will all see it and raise their game too.

Sales teams are famous (or notorious) for expecting the rest of the company to respond instantly to their every request.  After all, Sales represents the customer and that next big win, right?  But is that high internal service-level earned from day-after-day top performances, getting to work early, staying late and always delivering the number?   If yes, I bet you will have Legal standing on their chairs, calling you Dawg and buying your t-shirts!

Sales teams must remember that last year’s big contract, top honors for the quarter, or being ‘the guy who won that account that keeps our lights on’ – all mean nothing if you mail it in next time you’re on stage.  Deliver your best performance at every single sales meeting, pipeline review, client presentation and quarter close – then you have the opportunity to expect the same from your team – and they can expect it from everyone else.

“And you can be the next, American Idol!” (Sorry Ryan, I had to say it.)

*”Draw the Line is the fifth album by American rock band Aerosmith, released December 1, 1977. The album was recorded in an abandoned convent near New York City, rented out for that purpose. The band lived there while recording the album, doing drugs, sleeping, eating, shooting guns, and driving their sports cars in between recording sessions.”  – Wikipedia

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