“Sales careers are a long game. Plan in advance. Take calculated moves and be patient, but never forget, let your performance do 90% of the talking. And that 10% can be the few times that you bring it up to your boss.” – Collin Cadmus in today’s Tip 821
Do you spend more time and energy asking for promotions?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Collin Cadmus. Collin is a 2x VP Sales who’s hired and trained over 300 salespeople, generating over $50M in recurring revenue and over $300M in exits. With over 10 years of experience building sales teams, Collin serves as a Consultant, Strategic Advisor, and Executive Coach to top SaaS companies around the world. Here he is:
Collin Cadmus: I’m Collin Cadmus and here is a quick tip on how to get a sales promotion. You’re in sales and you want a promotion. Maybe you’re an SDR looking to become an AE or you’re an AE looking to become a Manager, or maybe you’re even a Manager looking to become a Director. Whatever it is, the process is relatively the same. The key here is to make sure that you’re letting your performance do most of the talking. That means let your performance do 90% of the talking. The common mistake is that a salesperson often spends more time and energy asking for promotions and complaining about it than they do crushing their own performance to make the decision a no brainer, even worse is that sometimes salespeople come off of a year or perhaps even two years of doing really, really well. They get burnt out and frustrated that they haven’t gotten the promotion yet. And now they actually let their performance start to decline because they’re frustrated. They haven’t gotten the promotion yet. Meanwhile, they may have been a month away from that promotion and they didn’t even know it. And they might be blowing the chance by letting their performance decline.
So remember to let your performance do 90% of the talking. Why is this important? Well, first of all, it’s important to recognize that promotions can’t happen on your timeline. They have to happen on the company’s timeline. It’s also important to recognize that you don’t have all the necessary context that your Managers, Director, or VP has. So you have to put some trust in them as well. And lastly, you need to stop thinking that your manager forgot about the topic. Maybe you brought it up to them. You talked about it in a one-on-one and you haven’t heard any updates. And so you’re getting frustrated and you’re letting that sort of affect you every day and are coming into the office or working at home, whatever it is. And you’re getting upset and frustrated that your boss hasn’t followed up with you about that promotion.
Here’s the thing. If you don’t trust your boss, you shouldn’t work for them. Okay? So let’s assume that you do trust your boss since you are working for them. If you trust them, then you bring this up and you wait and you see what happens and you continue to focus on your performance. There’s nothing more important than continuing to crush your current role. If you don’t do that, all cards are off the table.
So the process is really simple. First, crush your current role for 9 to 12 months before even asking for a promotion before even bringing it up. The next step is don’t actually ask for a promotion, okay? Express interest in a promotion. It’s a much better way to go about it because it puts you in a productive conversation rather than a demanding situation. So in a one-on-one, you may say, “Hey, Mrs. Manager, I would like to discuss my future and just wanted to express interest in X role. And I’d like to know A. if you think I could get there and B. what you think I need to do to get there.” And now you’re not putting them in a position where you’re asking for a promotion, you’re simply saying, “Hey, do you think I could do this someday? And if so, what do I need to do to get there?” Now they’re going to hopefully give you the blueprint of what you need to do. So step three is just focus on executing that and don’t bring it back up because all that does is it annoys your managers. What you have to remember is your managers are thinking about this stuff. If the company is going to have a need for a new role, whether it’s a new AE or a new manager, a new director, whatever it is, trust me, your manager’s thinking about it or their boss is thinking about it. Someone is planning that well in advance and they’re scouting the team and they’re looking for who the right person is. And the way to stand out for that is not to be the person who’s constantly begging for promotion. The way to stand out is to just express interest. So they know you’re on the list. Trust me, you’ve made it on deck. If you’ve expressed interest, but then focus on your performance. That’s it. That’s all you need to do. And things will work themselves out with due time.
Now, after you’ve had that conversation with your manager and you’ve expressed interest in the promotion, it’s very important to not bring up this topic for at least another three months, at least. Ideally, you’re not bringing it up again. And they’re the ones bringing it up next, but try not to bring it up. Don’t bring it up in every one-on-one, don’t be a nag that doesn’t really help. It doesn’t necessarily hurt, but it certainly doesn’t help. And it’s not helping you focus on what really matters in that moment, which is crushing your current performance.
So finally, the last thing that you can do is start taking advantage of any opportunity you get to showcase skill sets required for the promotion that you want. Do you want to be an AE? Ask if you can run some mock demos, ask if you can run a small SMB demo with an AE on the phone, maybe they won’t let you, but at least you’re taking the initiative to ask. And at least you’re taking the initiative to train yourself ahead of time. That will stand out when it comes time for that promotion. If you’re the one SDR who’s taken the time to figure out how to actually run a demo and you’ve memorized the script or whatever it is that stuff stands out. Now you’ve reduced your ramp time and you’re likely to be ahead of whoever else they are looking at.
So remember sales careers are a long game. Plan in advance. Take calculated moves and be patient, but never forget, let your performance do 90% of the talking. And that 10% can be the few times that you bring it up to your boss.
Scott Ingram: To connect with Collin, click over to DailySales.Tips/821. There we’ll have a link to his website where you can check out his new Modern Prospecting Playbook. There’s also a link to the Collin Cadmus podcast and of course, to his LinkedIn profile.
Once you’ve done that. Be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!