Your weekly disruption
Your weekly thought-provoking exploration into building disruptive capabilities.
Peter Scott: Authentic Leadership
Purpose defines the unique gifts people bring to leadership challenges, through which they can align others with their purposes in order to create positive impact. This is far more important than focusing entirely on achieving success in metrics like money, fame and power, yet ultimately produces sustained success in those metrics as well.
Download the podcast on iTunes, subscribe or click to listen: Superior Sales Disruption Podcast: Episode 11
Authenticity is what defines Peter Scott and is why he is always in demand in leading many of the best companies in Australia. Most people define authentic leadership from the outside in, but Peter has lived it from the inside. Here is a bit of his journey in his own words.
Download the podcast on iTunes, subscribe or click to listen: Superior Sales Disruption Podcast – Episode 11
Designing Your Career
Be The Best You Can Be
Seeing The Light
Whilst I’m in sales, I actually did start off life as an accountant. It is pretty hard to imagine a Sales Director today was once an internal auditor, but I was and it was another great way to start working for the Coca Cola Company globally. What I found was I was always very keen to get to sales conferences and give the financial spiel. And along the way, it was somewhere I really just felt that’s where I need to be. You have to take control of these things yourself. I worked very hard within the organisation to try and get sales opportunities and experiences within the Coca Cola organisation. Whenever I could I get on the road with sales reps, I would put my hand up. I would attend customer meetings and understand more and more about the business.
Disrupt or be disrupted
I received a great opportunity when Coca Cola started off in the vending business. It was the vending business where Coca Cola took on retailing through placing points of interaction everywhere. We were putting vending everywhere in places they hadn’t been before. We used to talk about a coke with an arm’s reach of desire. We were trying to put vending machines where public phone boxes were, again back in the days before mobile phones. And really, for me, my first, entry into true leadership in a sort of more commercial environment, out of Finance.
Look, it’s mutual respect to start with. I’ve always got an open door. I do have a belief that people have got people all want to drive the business, so often it’s a really quick 10 minute conversation that can just give them the direction to go away and be more efficient in what they do. People shouldn’t need to always make appointments, book appointments, and do presentations. Everyone comes to work to do a good job, and if not, you need to try and understand why and try and help them. As they could be in the wrong place, in the wrong career, and they should be doing something else. That communication goes both ways and by involving people and certainly treating, with that respect, and allowing that passion to be filtered down to yourself and right through to the team. In turn people really feel inspired to come to work and do a great job.
Understanding The Retailer
To be successful as a supplier these days, you’ve really got to understand the retailer strategies and what they’re doing and where they’re going. One only has to look at the growth of private label. And as much as branded players didn’t like it, the share of shelf, is controlled by the retailers and they’ve got their strategies. Their strategies, are not Australian strategies, they’re global strategies used around the world. The aim is to put better products on the shelf for Australian consumers. So from a supplier point of view, you need to have a look what is going on in the market, understand it and work with them.
For me, I did move across to Coles for a year. A great learning experience. It was a lot more different than I expected coming from supply side. The cut and the thrust of the weekly sales that they work through. The amount of data they’ve got at their exposure, and the number of people that are pushing the barrow was, was pretty amazing.
It comes back to the engagement within the organisation. It’s got to be bigger than the buying team. The commercial team need to involve not just a front end of the businesses, not just the front end or the sales side of a supplier, it’s actually to get other people within the supplier organisations involved with other people in the organisation of the retailers. It’s great to get the marketing people in front of them to make sure our insights and their consumer thoughts are aligned to what products will bring to market. You can do the best marketing plans in your organisation, if you take them to the retailer and the retailer says, well, that’s not what we’re thinking, then you’ve wasted your time.
Stepping Back To Move Forward
It is a journey and it is about getting different experiences. And quite often that means taking sideways steps in the organisation. If you take them as a positive, if the organisation is willing to sponsor you into other roles, you should grab those. You should work at them because it is a bit of a snake in your career, you do move along a bit, and you go up a little bit, and there’s usually a couple of sideways moves. You find them, you learn and you find out, what you don’t know, by doing some roles elsewhere in your business. Or you might find there’s something like I did. That by moving from finance into sales, that you are actually into a completely different area that is more suited to your skill base.
The focus use to be on order taking and shovelling your products to consumers. The difference now is that there’s much more engagement with the marketing teams to understand what consumers need, there’s far more engagement with the customer to find out what the customer needs are and how we’re going to work together to get things done. You’ve got to communicate, you’ve got to collaborate and you’ve got to do a lot more things with the retailer. It’s a very different role. Because there’s more people involved. So, you’ve got to work differently.
The role of a Sales Director and a Marketing Director is to work together to calm down the noise. It’s very hard to bring new products to market. A lot of executions are activity based; it’s the commercials, things that might bring the consumer to your products. It’s not that easy. And we’ve all everyone’s got their own ideas, what you could do. Our focus is to make sure everyone understands what is being worked on. Yes, sure, there are delays, they’re not good, but they happen, we were able to get it right than wrong. We need to work together, calm it down, and deliver the result for the organisation. We’re all one team.
So many great takeaways from this conversation. Listen to the episode in the player below, or download, subscribe and enjoy it on iTunes.
Download the podcast on iTunes or click to listen: Superior Sales Disruption Podcast – Episode 11
If you want your Sales team to Gamify it’s performance please contact us at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/contact-us/
Next week we are going to delve deeper into the elements of Creating The Game.
If you are looking at running a Sales Game workshop either email Mark at email@example.com OR dig for more information at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/storytelling/workshops/
At Superior Sales we build programmes leveraging all the core drivers of capability – organisation, people, process and culture, not just skills. Refer to our white paper at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/storytelling/whitepaper/
At Superior Sales our capability experts work extensively with companies to equip sales teams, and indeed the whole organisation, to deliver a better customer experience. Please get in touch at http://www.superiorsales.com.au/contact-us/
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