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What do salespeople even do?

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 14.5 million Americans were employed in a sales or related role as of May of 2017. But what are all those people actually doing? They don't assemble or create things. They aren’t writing code, they aren’t building software.

At the most fundamental level, a sales person connects products with people. You can think of sales people as the glue of the economy.

Sales goes beyond the mere passing of information from one person to another. Especially in organizational selling like Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Government (B2G). Salespeople listen, gauge, and diagnose the operations of their client first. They then articulate a vision for the future that improves the organization or solves a problem – often times problems the client didn't know they had.

You might think it seems odd that an organization would have problems they don't know about, but it is more common than you think for large organizations and especially government. As an example, when was the last time you recorded something on a video camera, downloaded it on a desktop computer, burned it to a disc, and mailed it to someone? Just imagining that process makes most people cringe in light of social networks like Facebook or Instagram. However, many law enforcement organizations are still using that process to share video evidence with a prosecutor. This is the exact sort of problem that a sales person can uncover and challenge incumbent thinking.

Clients come away from interacting with a sales person feeling like they gained value and insight in that interaction that they could not have otherwise gotten. This is why the profession of sales is here to stay and will continue to as long as innovation leads our economy.

Unfortunately some startups, especially in the tech world, tend to lack sales people if they have any at all. The tacit presumption is that all you have to do is build something great and magically all roads will lead to your creation. Sadly, this presumption can be fatal to a startup. Great technologies require great people to communicate with customers.

At Axon, sales is incredibly satisfying and professionally fulfilling. However, not all sales jobs are created equal. Some could be a real drain especially if you are selling something generic. To avoid ending up in such a sales job I would encourage you to look for a company that has two key attributes.

  • A differentiated or new technology that no other company is delivering.
  • A product or service that improves life.

Axon Enterprise has both traits. We have amazing less-lethal technology that saves lives by safely incapacitating a dangerous person and potentially avoiding the use of deadly force. We have incredible body worn cameras that protect the truth and encourage the best behavior by all parties in a law enforcement interaction. We have built a network that powers law enforcement by connecting their devices, applications, and people.

It certainly doesn't end there. There are still technology shortcomings in public safety that need to be addressed. Axon is building the solutions that will have a real effect on law enforcement and the communities they protect. That is why I am proud to be connecting law enforcement with Axon products.

Sam Phillips

North West Regional Rep