#035: The peer, guide, mentor, and student

Plus free training to launch your sales career

Read time: 5 minutes

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We’ve been working behind the scenes on a new training program to help people make the shift from the lab into sales.

It’s an accelerator course that helps scientists launch their sales careers, in just 4 weeks.

It’s a compilation of everything we’ve learned from our experience hiring and training 100s of sales reps.

We know how hard it can be to find that first sales role and quickly learn all the sales skills you need to succeed in sales.

Nobody has time to wait around to figure this out on their own, that’s why we want to help.

If you’re ready to make the move into sales (or know others who are) then click the link below to get started.

There are a lot of headwinds facing the life science sales community right now.

  • Layoffs: I was hoping the worst was behind us, but more news this week as layoffs continued.

  • Rising quotas: Companies need to show growth and with fewer sales reps, that quota is being distributed across the rest of the team.

  • Shrinking budgets: Budgets are still shrinking and a lot of R&D spend is being allocated to programs in clinical stages.

  • Risk aversion: Customers don’t want to spend money on anything that won’t show an ROI. Change is risky.

  • Hard to land jobs: With all the layoffs, there is a surplus of sales candidates fighting for a limited number of roles.

It’s not all doom and gloom through.

High-performing reps are doing incredibly well. They’re taking advantage of the extra territory and seizing the opportunities.

There are still many companies that are growing and actively hiring. The barrier to entry is much higher though.

Where am I going with this?

With all of this uncertainty, it’s important to have a solid support system in place.

Here’s a simple framework I’ve used to build a support system that has worked well for me throughout my career.

The peer, guide, mentor, and student

There are 4 key components to a well-rounded support system that can help you navigate any situation.

The Peer: This person is at the same stage in their career as you. They ideally have similar aspirations and motivations. You can turn to them for moral support and they are a great sounding board when shit hits the fan. They might be at the same company as you, or they could be halfway around the world. But it’s important to have a great peer network.

The Guide: The guide is someone who's one step ahead of you in their career. They have recently gone through what you’re going through and can give you advice on how to navigate different situations. It’s important they’re only one step ahead, because you want someone that still remembers all the fine details. Guides are great for getting to the next step in your career.

The Mentor: This person is further along in their career and is likely in the role you want to be in someday. They’re able to share their wisdom and experience with you to help you navigate your entire career journey. They’ll help provide a long-term outlook on what’s possible and help you along the way.

The Student: If you’re in a situation where you can be a guide for anyone else, you should take it. By teaching someone your clarity of thought will drastically increase. You’ll have to think critically about situations and then provide the right guidance in a clear and concise manner. By guiding others, you’ll learn more about how you can improve yourself.

Meeting frequency: Here are my recommendations for how often to meet with each person.

Peer: Once a week

Guide: Once a month

Mentor: Once a quarter

Student: Once a month

These timelines ensure you always have something to discuss and it’s not too much of a time commitment.

By integrating the support and guidance of a peer, guide, mentor, and student, you’ll be well-positioned to deal with current and future challenges. You’ll have a diverse range of opinions and insights you can pull from at any time to help you make the best possible decisions.

If you’re looking for a place to help build out this network, come join Succession and meet other like-minded sales professionals all at different stages of their careers.

Episode 24: [Sales] Leaving academia is like fight club with Leonardo Motta

Top takeaways

  • Building rapport and aligning your communication style

  • Leaving academia is like fight club - you don't talk about leaving academia

  • How to get hired as a sales rep - step by step

  • Creating real meaningful relationships with potential customers through content

Episode 25: [Q&A] Should you go into sales management?

Special Offer: If you’ve made it this far, you can use the coupon code NEWSLETTER to get 20% off an individual Succession membership.

Recommended Products & Tools: We’ve used every one of these products and can highly recommend them to you. Everything from CRMs to AI tools.

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