Running on the Sales Cloud


3 Lessons I learned from running half marathons that improved my sales performance.

Do great thoughts come to you while exercising? Well recently I achieved my life long dream time in a half marathon and in doing so I learned some lessons about life and why I love Running, Selling and The Sales Cloud. 

  1. Know the Science – Use World Class tools to prepare
    I had failed to achieve my life long dream time on 7 previous half marathons and on the 7th attempt I ran with two friends who had not trained much and both beat me by many minutes. It was at this point I decided that all my passion and training was not enough and that I simply did not know enough about the science of running.  I developed a passion to learn and researched inspirational runners and read their books and learned their techniques. I identified my strengths and weaknesses and developed a passion to learn the science of speed training, running posture, using gravity to run, breathing, diet, energy conservation, barefoot running and mental resilience. With every training run I would try a new technique and often as my run pace was announced in my ears by my running app a small grin developed on my face and a burning determination developed within me to get home to download the run data and understand why and how what just happened. I was amazed at the science and just like my sales career I developed a love to learn the science and know the numbers. I studied the power of  sales cloud technology with marketing automation, sales dashboards, collaboration tools, email IQ, web to lead and case to lead. I learned the science of how to listen and learn from others and communicate with customers the way they wanted, when they wanted and the art of referral selling techniques. With each lead and opportunity I would practice the science of qualifying benefits, delivering the pitch, a trial close, a real close and how to build sales resilience. I learned that there is a science to selling and that having passion is not enough and that humility to listen and learn and embrace the latest technology like The Sales Cloud is the science of selling. 
  2. Run with a Mentor – hunt with the pack and with those who inspire you.
    Have you ever worked with someone that was so inspiring that just being with them improved your game? This happened to me during my 8th half marathon that changed everything. Like many times before I crossed the start line with thousands of others with my normal passionate, confident determined start hoping my new found science knowledge would get me to the end in record time and like all sales calls I was giving it a red hot go and like before I new I could do it but as before I was doing it alone.

    I was soon passed by a woman running with two coaches either side of her with the best running style I had ever seen in my whole wide world. A style I just knew was great and efficient like Caballo Blanco in Born to Run “Think Easy, Light, Smooth and Fast….Make it effortless”
    Something spoke to me inside and it said “ You have to run with them!!!”. So I moved out of my comfort zone and lifted my pace and latched onto this power train which pulled me along as if by magic and for a while I thrived in their company. I marvelled at their attitude always smiling, encouraging and laughing and really enjoying themselves and so did I and I realised why I love running. I was in awe of her running style and doing my best to imitate the effortless rhythm. The coaches were giving her the current race pace and her predicted finish time every kilometre  as well as fetching her water from the water stations so she could keep her rhythm and I realised this is no ordinary running group, they were a well drilled pack focused on a prize and they new their numbers and what they needed to do now to achieve their end goal. They were her Sales Cloud and reminded me of my daily sales targets I needed to close to hit my monthly quota and blow my forecasts away and like the Sales Cloud assisting me to spend more time selling with better knowledge helping me improve and make great decisions and spending less time on admin and to balance the now opportunities that matter with those I needed later to sustain the pipeline to hit the forecast. They were keeping her focused on what she loved to do and what she was good at and to keep her rhythm going. I could feel how they enjoyed what they were doing and were constantly learning from her. Before I knew it we had passed the 10km mark and as they stretched away from me and into the distance I had learned how to perform better and although I could not see them anymore I had adopted that smooth effortless rhythm and now I had what I needed to finish and break my lifetime goal.  
  3. Celebrate and share – creates a winning team. After crossing the finish line well in front of my lifetime goal it was a special time to thank my family for their support and sacrifice of many hours of me being away training as well as special friends who were training partners, doctors, coaches and people who believed in me. I went to my favourite coffee shop wearing my finishers medal. As I ordered from the barista who asked me for my name and when I told him he wrote it on the cup and gave me a cheeky smile whilst his eyes gleamed at the medal. When the coffee was ready he called out in a very loud voice into a crowded shop “Flat White for Champion”.

Selling in todays markets is so dynamic with buyers ever increasingly connected to quicker and better information that selling certainly can not be a solo effort. It must be a collaboration with teams, marketers, networks, referrals and world class sales cloud technology requiring input from many people hungry to learn more about what their buyers want and what just happened on the sales calls, promotion, email campaign or trade show and ever thirsty to learn more about this amazing science of selling. Sales people must continually share our results with the Sales Cloud as there is so much the teams can learn from each run, each closed won or closed loss no matter how small the insight. By celebrating and sharing as a team learning together we continually improve this amazing science one step at a time.

Paul is a Sales and Marketing Director with a passion to help companies grow sales and improve customer service with world class sales excellence programs including Sales Cloud Technology, SaaS and Enterprise Applications and is currently pursuing a new role.

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