Outside sales professionals have limited visibility to senior sales executives and key stakeholders due to the limited visibility opportunites by being in the field. To progress in your sales career, it is important to maximize your visibility to those who will have an impact in your sales career progression.
Field based outside sales professionals who perform gain visibility by performing with excellent sales performance which usually gains attention from key stakeholders and senior level sales executives. The problem is, it takes more than just stellar sales performance to get a promotion or to be viewed as an asset to the organization. Many sales professionals perform, but it takes additional activities to make you stand out and to actually be remembered by the sales leadership team. For example, if your goal is to move into a sales management role or to gain senior status, you will need to demonstrate more than only exceptional sales numbers.
To move up in your sales career, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to perform on a consistent basis, but also demonstrate your leadership potential by doing "extra" and going above and beyond to gain the visibility from your company. Gaining visibility from your home office also helps you when a reorganization happens, layoffs or selection for promotion comes up. By focusing on visibility to these key stakeholders, you will more than just an unknown sales professional that delivers numbers, but a high potential and asset to help influence others to better performance and possibly be promoted to a sales management role.
VISIBILITY: HOW TO GAIN IT
There are many different ways to gain visibility to those who will have an influence in your sales career. Look for ways to share best practices by sending in emails to your sales manager to forward on to the sales director and VP of sales. Make sure to save the best stories to send forward and not overdo it with just a simple message but a message that can be implemented by others who read it. Share how you did it step by step and the end results. You can also gain more visibility by speaking up in sales meeting and providing helpful and thought provoking input.
Many companies also provide opportunities to gain visibility to the senior sales team by selecting high performing sales professionals to be part of a special project team. You gain additional visibility by the involvement with this special group in addition to your exceptional sales performance, which demonstrates your ability for increased responsibility. The visibility you want to gain must be all positive, so make sure you keep up to date and on time with all of your administrative duties so that your name stays off any of the bad lists for those who are not compliant.
VISIBILITY: GET IN FRONT OF KEY STAKEHOLDERS
Don't make the mistake of not taking the opportunity to get in front of key stakeholders who have an influence in the direction of your sales career. When you visit the home office, try to get in front of the senior leadership team by setting up an appointment beforehand. Have a topic to discuss and also share what you have been doing in your territory to make it a success. Remember, if your sales leadership team does not know who you are, then you need to focus more on your visibility. As outside sales professionals, we do not have the luxury of being within physical proximity so you must look for every opportunity to get your name in front of these key stakeholders.