No matter where George Leith is in the world, he rises at 4 a.m. to hit the gym. And it’s often well into the wee hours before he winds down his last call of the day. Half measures aren’t really his thing.

George runs sales at Vendasta, a white label digital marketing software company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where George says it’s so flat you can watch your dog running away for three days. George has emerged as a prominent voice on sales excellence and a proponent of elevating the craft of selling into a profession. He does this through the Conquer Local podcast and sales academy, where he shares his sales knowledge and curates the best practices of other leading sales and marketing pros. The idea behind Conquer Local is to help sales pros “sell smarter”.

We had George on the podcast to ask him to assess the quality of the sales organizations he observes in the course of his work and what they need to do to sell more effectively. And we just wanted to shoot the breeze about what it takes to survive in sales these days.

We covered a lot of ground in the podcast. Here are some highlights.

Common Mistakes by Sales Organizations 

“Where the sales manager, CEO, CRO, CFO cannot tell me how many presentations their sales force made yesterday. And they wonder why they are losing business. They wonder why their customers are churning. They wonder why their people are no longer loving their jobs. Times have changed. People running sales organizations now are less the charismatic sales leader and more the person that can use data to make better decisions.”

DIY vs DIFM

“There is definitely uptake on DIY. But when we watch the software that they buy, 90 days go by and nothing happens. I like to say that that DIY is lead gen…There may come a point in time where they’re time becomes more valuable and they’d rather invest their dollars than their time.”

How Should Sales People Spend Their Days 

“A rep should spend 60% of their time talking to customers, 30% of their time building their product knowledge or researching their next appointment. And 10% of their time on admin. A lot of organizations have that formula flipped on its head.”

What Makes for a Good Sales Rep 

“I look for someone who has played competitive sports. I am a big believer in building a sales culture that is gamified and is built around celebrations. I am also a big believer in building teams…The other thing I don’t mind is someone who has had kind of a rocky road. Someone who has had some success but maybe has had some recent challenges and has something to prove. I find those people can be very effective. I am also finding that an important piece is some business acumen.”

You can catch the full podcast here:

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