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Believing in What You Sell

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Our Inside Axon blog series is updated every Wednesday and features letters from executives within Axon. This week's post was written by Mike Shore, Axon's VP of Sales. Check back next week for more experiences and insight from Axon leaders.

At your core, what do you believe? For better or worse, those core beliefs will drive your thoughts and actions, and accordingly, will impact and influence what you’re working on and who you’re working with.

It’s this fundamental understanding that makes sales a lot of fun when you believe in what you sell; conversely, it makes sales pretty darn brutal when you don’t. Unsurprisingly, customers know this too! Unfortunately, it’s why “sales” gets a bad rap a lot of the time. Have you ever felt like a salesperson:

  • Was trying to get the best of you?
  • Was pushing something on you that you didn't need?
  • Only cared about making commission on the sale?

I bet dollars to donuts you have felt like that before, and it’s a shame. A lot of our experiences and associations with sales come from working with salespeople who may not believe in what they’re selling. As such, they’re selling in spite of their beliefs about their product, and this can be painfully obvious to a buyer.

At Axon, sales is all about helping the customer out, meeting decision makers where they are, and serving as a resource to help make an informed decision. As choosing a product goes from a simple choice (e.g. an AppStore App) to a complex choice (e.g. a multi-million-dollar enterprise software solution), effective salespeople earn and prove their value to their customers. This is especially true when a customer's organizational risk is higher with a purchasing decision that involves highly sensitive data and complex workflows across multiple stakeholders, such as Digital Evidence Management Solutions.

Now, I want to ask if you have ever felt like a salesperson:

  • Provided recommendations as a counselor would?
  • Engaged in frank conversation of the pros/cons of a decision?
  • Worked with you on a complicated process to meet mutual goals?

The difference in the memories that come to mind from the two sets of questions above have a lot to do with the salesperson you were working with, and I can pretty much guarantee the difference in those salespeople is if they believe in what they were selling.

Our salespeople believe in what we are selling, so they take the time to educate themselves on our products so they are a knowledgeable resource. They care enough to understand you and your organization’s needs in order to effectively make recommendations that best serve you and position the product for a successful adoption. It really is ok for a salesperson to openly work towards a sale, as it’s a win-win for both parties. Think about it: I wouldn't want a sales rep who tries to sneak something past me just so they can make a commission, but I certainly do want a sales rep who openly tries to earn my business and accordingly earn a commission due to their value in the sales process.

As a salesperson, I’ve been a part of several organizations. I always ask myself these fundamental questions before I can sell an organization’s product, as I know it is the only way I can sell successfully: “Do I believe in this company’s product?” and further, “Do I believe in the value of what the company is selling?”. To put it into Axon's perspective, “Do I believe in the productivity gains, cost savings, and workflow efficiencies of our products? Does this product work in those critical moments, improve the interactions between law enforcement and communities, and ultimately, protect life?”

I can emphatically say yes to those fundamental questions and as such, take my job of helping our law enforcement customers as best as I can both professionally and personally. I am excited to be a part of Axon where I believe in what we sell. We're a mission-driven company building the network of devices, apps, and people to protect life in new ways, and our belief in what we do drives each and every one of us. We’re looking for others who can believe in that too … and we’re hiring :)