What Our Economy Really Needs: Better Salespeople

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Passion January 12, 2017

What Our Economy Really Needs: Better Salespeople

Brian Bar
Brian Bar, Founder and CEO of Victory Lap, has an extensive background leading and training entry-level sales talent. He was the former Vice President of Sales at ThinkCERCA, and the creator of Groupon's sales onboarding department, where he managed over 400+ new hires. Brian believed so strongly in the Victory Lap mission, he decided to leave a great job in order to start it, all while preparing to become a first-time father. Both baby and company are happy and healthy six months in.

For years, employers have been demanding that our education system provide more skilled and qualified workers. In the United States alone there are over 5.8 million open jobs across a variety of industries, a recent all time high for our nation. On one hand, this is great news. Why wouldn’t it be…there’s more work available, right? On the other hand, we must consider the negative implications of such an open and robust job market. If we look at that number critically, it becomes apparent that we are actually failing our companies by not offering the proper education, training, and tools to employ our citizens.

SchoolVictory Lap, a purpose-driven and tuition-free sales education startup located in Chicago, is disrupting the sales industry for the better. Victory Lap’s mission is rooted in a strong passion for sales, while actively solving for roadblocks in the higher education system, including unemployment and underemployment, the student debt crisis, and the lack of a formal sales education. 71% of students graduating from a four-year institution have student loan debt, while the total debt is exceeding more than $1.2 trillion. How is this sustainable? The answer: it’s not. And we need to fix it… fast.

These problems, which are both severe and urgent, should have high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation changing their curriculum and offering a more professionally guided approach. Unfortunately, less than 4% of colleges and universities offer any type of sales program. However, the ones who do are reporting near 100% placement rates for their graduates. With most education systems stuck in their ways, regardless of the proven experiences of their counterparts, the question becomes: how can we disrupt an education system that has existed (unchanged) for thousands of years? It’s simple. We teach people how to sell in a post-graduate setting, and help them land jobs doing so.

Chicago’s premier sales education platform has already begun, and has seen extremely promising results. In just three months, Victory Lap has received over 300 applications, and 83% of their candidates are landing a job within weeks of graduating the program. The data and signs are clear: employers need great sales people to grow, and employees need training and tools to succeed. However, Victory Lap is going further than most. Their purpose is for individuals to be successful, and they’re accomplishing that through three avenues.

Victory Lap’s Driving Forces:

  1. To Develop Confidence

Teaching someone a new skill is great, but watching them realize they can sell for a living is indescribable. Victory Lap’s avenue is to help more young professionals succeed sooner in their careers. Once accomplished, it fuels the Victory Lap team to keep getting better and better each round.Sales

  1. To Solve a Painful Problem

The problem is simple yet exhausting: hiring great salespeople is very hard to do. Additionally, hitting revenue goals while dealing with turnover is also a nightmare to deal with. Being able to offer a solution to these problems, among many others, is what makes the Victory Lap sales job meaningful.

  1. To Teach Sales the Right Way

We all know some really bad sales people. In fact, too many. Unfortunately, these few bad apples leave many with a bad perception of the sales industry. Victory Lap’s goal is to eradicate this unfortunate reality, and for all of our future sellers to be people you enjoy doing business with.

At its core, sales is helping people. It’s listening. It’s providing a solution that’s in their best interest, not yours. It’s about creating value over the long-term, and being disciplined to avoid short-term thinking and executing. It’s a powerful skill set to have, and with power comes responsibility.

The 21st century economy will need 21st century thinking and planning in order to deliver on the needs of our employers and employees. As the research shows, educating and training more salespeople is one necessary step in the right direction. At Victory Lap, their purpose is to deliver on this by building a great product, and delivering a great service. This impact leaves the Victory Lap team waking up each day excited to tackle the many rewarding challenges ahead.