Is Your Sales Force a Sales Farce?
When was the last time you purchased a product based on the charm, professionalism, sincerity, and effectiveness of the salesperson? These types of salespeople are rare, comprising less than two percent of the “best of the best” in the selling profession.
They are the real force behind their sales organizations while the rest are average salespeople – mostly “order takers” – who do not know how to articulate value and solve their clients’ business problems. And of course, there are those salespeople who are actually a disgrace to the profession, doing precious little.
It is somewhat ironic that organizations spend a considerable portion of their earnings in developing a sales force for their businesses, but many do not get proportionate returns. Accustomed to working on auto-pilot sales systems, non-performing salespeople find the going gets tough when the system doesn’t work in the normal way.
Despite having an apparently qualified and experienced sales team – as well as having good sales practices and processes in place – organizations can struggle if their so-called sales force actually paints a picture that is close to a farce. By avoiding this situation, you can set your sales team on a path of success. Here is how:
The importance of sales leadership
You need to have sales heroes in your organization. There should be at least one sales hero who can lead from the front setting an example for everyone else to follow. Sales leaders are master salesmen, experts in timing their sales calls, flawless in their presentations, careful in their choice of words, and sensitive to the needs of their customers. They do not buckle under pressure. They also have the capacity to inspire others with their hard and intelligent work. Such leadership talents are vital for a sales organization thrive and prosper.
Let go of those who should not be in sales
As any leading sales coach or sales trainer will tell you, some people are simply not cut out for the sales profession. They don’t believe in hard work, don’t like going out of their way to meet clients and discuss their requirements, and are constantly worrying about their monthly sales numbers. They participate in sales training workshops but learn little so how are they ever going to sell? Remember, sales is the highest paying hard work and the lowest paying easy work out there. Get rid of the people who settle for low paying easy work.
The sales profession demands that salespersons should be extroverts and outgoing people interested in meeting people, solving client’s problems with one-size-fits-one solutions. They should have healthy sense of self and self-esteem. Salespeople should exude warmth, friendliness, and an eagerness to offer solutions. They also should like their job and the products and services they are selling. If not, they should not be in sales and can utilize their talents in other professions.
Motivation as a key to sales direction and success
The profession of sales is not a normal “banker’s hours” job with a desk, a personal computer, a phone, and a cubicle. In fact, the most productive and highest paid professional sales reps do all their non-sales related activities such as reports, presentations, etc. between 6:00–8:00 AM and 6:00–8:00 PM. The prime selling time of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM is devoted to getting face to face with decision makers. A decision maker is defined as a prospect that has need, desire, financial capacity and authority.
To keep doing this five days a week all through the year, a salesperson needs motivation. When the market conditions are tough, and the internal conditions are far from perfect, a salesperson will require more motivation than normal to keep going. Some have the knack of motivating themselves while others rely on their sales managers or professional motivational sales coaching and sales training.
Successful reps solve problems and add value
Each salesperson brings his or her unique personality traits into sales. Some are sincere, some are thorough with technical details, others are helpful with after sales service. There are salespeople that are good listeners. They listen to the client thoroughly and understand the client’s problems and offer solutions. By putting in a little extra effort, they add value to the service offered to the client as well as the organization.
Successful salespeople like to make money
At the one end of the sales profession spectrum lies the possibility of job loss for non-performance while at the other end lies the possibility of making a very good living, earning the respect of your clients and colleagues. Successful salespeople are driven by the desire to solve clients’ business problems and articulate value. A by-product of all that hard work is a healthy income stream and job security which is quite if ethical practices are followed.
Evaluate your sales team and see if it has the above-mentioned characteristics. If the answer is no, find out what is stopping you from incorporating them? It’s up to you to save your sales organization from becoming a sales farce and turn them in to a potent sales force.