When was the last time you purchased a product based on the charm, professionalism, sincerity, and effectiveness of the sales person? These types of sales people are rare, comprising nearly 2% of the “best of the best”, in the selling profession. They are the real force of their sales organizations. The rest are average sales people – mostly “order takers”, who do not know how to articulate value and solve their client’s business problem. And of course, there are sales people that are actually a disgrace to the profession of professional selling, 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. Habituated to working on auto-pilot sales systems, non performing sales people find the going gets tough when the system doesn’t work in the normal way. Despite having an apparently well qualified and experienced sales team as well as having good sales practices and processes in place, organizations struggle. Their so called sales force actually present a picture that’s close to a farce. You can avoid this and set your sales team on a path of success.
Here is how to go about it.
1 – The importance of sales leadership in an organization
You need to have sales heroes in your organization, at least one. There should be one sales hero, a leader that can lead from the front. 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 need of the 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 an sales organization thrive and prosper.
They are ever vigilant and tread on new paths believing in the saying of Abraham Lincoln, “Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle”.
2 – Let go of the sales people that should not be in sales
Some people are really 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. They don’t like meeting clients and understanding their problems. How can they sell? Remember that sales is the highest paying hard work and the lowest paying easy work.
The sales profession demands that sales persons should be extroverts and out going 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. Sales people should exude warmth, friendliness, and an eagerness to offer solutions to the client’s problems. 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.
3 – Motivation as a key to sales direction and success
The profession of sales is not a normal 9-5 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 non-sales related activities, reports, power point presentations, etc, between 6-8AM and 6-8PM. The sales day, prime selling time of 8AM-5PM is devoted to getting “belly to belly” with decision makers. A decision maker is defined as a prospect, not a suspect that has need, desire, financial capacity and authority. If the sales person doesn’t create prospects there is no work for him. Unless there are the required numbers of sales he will not keep his job for long.
To keep doing this 5 days a week all through the year a sales person needs motivation. When the market conditions are tough and the internal conditions are far from perfect a sales person will require more motivation than normal to keep going. Some have the knack of motivating themselves. Others rely on their sales managers or professional motivational sales trainers.
4 – The sales rep who solves the clients problems and adds value succeeds
Each sales person brings his own unique personality traits in to sales. Some are sincere, some are thorough with technical details, others are helpful with after sales service.
There are sales people that are good listeners. They listen to the client thoroughly and understand the client’s problems and offer solutions. By bringing a little effort they add value to the service offered to the client as well as the organization.
5 – Successful sales people like to make money
The profession of sales is a wonderful one where at the one end of the spectrum there lies the possibility of job loss for non performance. At the other end of the spectrum lies the possibility of making a good living, earning respect you’re your clients and peers, and gaining a good reputation among colleagues. Successful sales people are driven by the zeal to solve client’s business problems, articulate value and a by-product of that hard work is a healthy income stream and job security. That’s quite healthy if ethical practices are followed to achieve the aims.
Check out if your sales team has the above mentioned characteristics. If the answer is no, find out what is stopping you from incorporating them? Save your sales organization from becoming a sales farce and turn them in to a potent sales force.
Doug Dvorak is the CEO of DMG Inc., a worldwide organization that assists clients with productivity training, corporate humor and workshops, as well as other aspects of sales and marketing management. Mr. Dvorak’s clients are characterized as Fortune 1000 companies, small to medium businesses, civic organizations and service businesses. Mr. Dvorak has earned an international reputation for his powerful educational methods and motivational techniques, as well as his experience in all levels of business, corporate education and success training. http://www.dougdvorak.com
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