Written By: Mark Johns
Every business owner/sales manager has the ability to provide at least one of the four things every salesperson need, right now. And every one can learn to provide all of them by using the tools and assistance available.
There are four things every salesperson needs from his/her manager. Large to mega-companies have trained, experienced, highly compensated sales managers with war chests of training materials and support people to provide these needs for their sales representatives.
But if you are a business owner with one or two salespeople, or a small business sales manager with fewer than a dozen reps, you’re the show. You get to search and scrounge for resources for your sales team.
Every business owner/sales manager has the ability to provide at least one of the four things every salesperson need, right now. And every one can learn to provide all of them by using the tools and assistance available. Here they are:
1—Every salesperson needs knowledge: of the company, your product, your customers, your industry and your competition. You have this knowledge and the ability to transfer it over time, not overnight, to a sales representative. You also have the responsibility for doing that. If your salesperson does not know your company, product, customer, industry and competition, it is not her fault.
2—Every salesperson needs selling skills. There is no such thing as a natural born salesman. If your new salesperson has never been in your industry and has never sold anything, selling skills must be taught and that is your reponsibility. Among the things to look for in a sales prospect are aptitude and a willingness to learn. That’s the rep’s responsibility.
What are the six selling skills they must learn?
Unless you offer skills training and the employee learns them, she will fail. If you were fortunate enough to land an experienced sales rep, provide opportunities to upgrade her skills. If you can’t or won’t do it yourself, you must access outside sources.
3—Every salesperson needs direction and focus. Even an experienced salesperson needs to be directed to the right types of products and services to sell to the right market, and a sales rookie doesn’t have a clue. You do! You know your business and your market area, who the customers and best prospects are. They don’t. Point them in the right direction and keep their activities focused on reaching the right people with the right products and services.
If your salesperson is underperforming and wandering aimlessly through the territory, bagging undersized game, don’t blame her. Point your rep toward the right people and maintain that focus.
4—Every salesperson needs motivation. Hire positive people who exhibit enthusiasm, confidence, persistence, discipline and positive thinking. Check references and have staff members interview them to confirm your impressions. Hire happy, can-do people, and then provide an environment that won’t sap their inner motivation. Be sure they can feed off your own enthusiasm and positive expectations. In time, your salesperson will become the top revenue generator for your company—in essence, your number one customer. Expect much of her and take care of her as you would your best customer.
Mark Johns writes and speaks on two of the most critical skills in business:…
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