Creating A Sense of Urgency in Sales

How to Create A Sense of Urgency in Sales

Creating a sense of urgency in sales is critical to long-term business success. Having a sense of urgency means the company’s entire sales force is energized to capitalize on opportunities and defend against threats. Each seller is driven to take action and win now, not eventually. Sellers make progress every day, not one day or someday. It is their will to win that causes them to take action, not anger, anxiety or fear. The problem for leaders is that creating and maintaining a sense of urgency across the sales force is often difficult due to contentment (satisfaction).

Contentment leads to complacency and complacency leads to decline. Contentment comes from current and past success. It also comes from accepting the status quo. In either case, new opportunities and possibilities are ignored. In his books Built to Last and Good to Great, author Jim Collins states, “Good enough never is” and “Good is the enemy of great.” Both statements reveal a key characteristic of top sales performers  – a hyper discontent with the status quo. Good is never enough. Greatness is always the aspiration … and greatness cannot be achieved by waiting.

Top sales performers go to work every day committed to be and do better; committed to improve and raise the bar. For example, while most sellers see the company’s average deal size as the goal to meet; top sales performers see it as the target to consistently exceed. Because growth requires change and change requires intent, top sales performers practice continuous improvement to realize their full potential and remain dominate in their field. Great business and sales leaders then must hire for and institutionalize continuous improvement as a key value (behavior) for success.

Howard Shultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, said to the London Business Form: Leaders must instill a mentality where people understand that they can never rest because competitors are constantly working to take the food off their table. Leaders must eradicate the human behaviors of entitlement and relaxing from the culture. There is no victory lap. Success must be earned every day. As a result, leaders must take decisive action when people do not adhere to the required level of commitment – i.e., possess a relentless sense of urgency.

How can sales leaders institutionalize a sense of urgency into the culture? First, hire sales people who already possess it. Make the value part of your hiring profile. Second, positon change and the need to take action and win now as an opportunity. Focus on the benefits to both the organization and the sales person. Third, use leading by example to model the right behavior. People do what people see from their leaders. While most sales people claim to operate with a sense of urgency, it is not what they say, but what they do that counts.

All contents copyright © 2015, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


4 Responses to Creating A Sense of Urgency in Sales

  1. Peter Stevenson says:

    Wow, incredible blog! This post is super helpful. Urgency is something my team needs!


  2. Victor Ross says:

    100% agree. Salespeople must go fast or be ready to lose.


  3. Ted Hildred says:

    I thought this post was great. You are certainly going to a popular blogger if you are not already. 🙂 Cheers!


  4. Milan Thelm says:

    Urgency is sales is critical, but often missing. Great stuff in this post.


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