Tips to Make Your Mark in Sales, From Sales Awards Winner Bill Binch
Bill Binch won the Stevie® Award for Worldwide VP of Sales of the Year in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top honors for sales, call center, and customer service professionals. Bill will chair the committee for final judging of the Sales Individual categories in the 2012 edition of the awards. Entries for the 2012 awards are open through January 18 - submit yours now.
What are your top 3 tips on how to make your mark in sales?
1) Prioritize your day or someone else will
I was taught early in my sales career to make a list before leaving work of the first 5 things I’m going to do the next day. I still do it. If you don’t set your priorities, a customer, a partner, or a colleague will do it for you. This means you set the agenda for what it will take to be successful.
2) There are no traffic jams in the extra mile
This is a fancy way of saying: Differentiate yourself. For example, think about an interview for a sales job. Most of the candidates are going to tell a similar story to you, meaning you’re all talking about the same stuff. So tell the story of why you’re unique and find the reason you’re compellingly different. This applies in sales as well: Many of the products that you’ll sell in a career are similar to another product, so you need to find the edge on why your offering is different.
3) Establish a point of view
People who make a mark have an opinion, so have a point of view. I respect individuals who can craft a compelling and passionate argument. Even if I disagree with their opinion, I respect those who show up with their own thoughts. That means they will likely be creative and not get boxed in.
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
SAP’s purchase of SuccessFactors. It is their first true entry into Cloud computing and sends a pretty big signal that I think companies like Salesforce and Oracle will need to respond to. Also, the price they paid was incredible and creates a new standard for how Cloud-based companies are valued.
What is your favorite sport or hobby?
I enjoy golf, wine tasting, and spending time with my family and friends.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I’d be in the music business. Music and technology are colliding right now with digital rights, new distribution methods, etc. I have the technology experience combined with a love of music, so think it would be exciting to be at the forefront of figuring out how people will get and pay for their music going forward.
What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Self-awareness is a top trait that I admire—people who are confident enough in their skills to know what they’re NOT good at.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I’ve worked for 18 years dreaming of being in a position like the one I’m in right now. As a young sales professional, I visualized being the head of sales for a hot, fast-growing company. Now that I’m part of one, it inspires me to develop the next set of future leaders. Watching them grow, gain their voice, and make money are the best compliments I can get. Knowing that you are helping people mature their business skills is tremendously rewarding.
About Bill Binch
As Senior Vice President of Sales, Bill leads all of Marketo’s sales activities and is a key architect in Marketo’s rapid sales growth. Prior to joining Marketo, Bill was Vice President and General Manager, Distribution, at AVOLENT, where he managed the team focused on the distribution market, small and medium businesses, and install-base customers. Prior to AVOLENT, he developed his sales and operational experience at Oracle, PeopleSoft, and BEA Systems, where he built and managed direct, inside, and channel organizations and ran business units ranging from mid-market business customers to strategic accounts.
Bill graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.
Marketo is the global leader in Revenue Performance Management. Marketo’s easy-to-use marketing automation and sales effectiveness solutions transform how marketing and sales teams of all sizes work—and work together—to drive dramatically increased revenue performance and fuel business growth. The company’s proven technology, comprehensive services, and expert guidance are helping more than 1,400 enterprise and mid-market companies around the world to turn marketing from a cost center to a business-building revenue driver. Marketo also offers Spark by Marketo™, a new brand of marketing automation tailored specifically for small businesses—the fastest-growing and largest segment of today’s economy. For more information visit www.marketo.com, or subscribe to Marketo’s award-winning blogs at blog.marketo.com.