If you are planning to go into a sales role for the first time there are a number of key things you should be clear about before taking the plunge. Or if you are the one who is recruiting new sales people then it’s doubly important that you have taken the right steps to identify these areas of knowledge and skills and that you can support your new sales person to make the grade.
We list our top seven things every person that is new to sales should know:
- It’s tough out there: non sales people get the idea that sales-folk swan about in a company car with an expense account only communicating when they want to moan about something. In reality the sales-person has to develop a level of resilience and coping skills higher than most other professions.
- Their market: sales people need to know what is happening in their sector not just at the local level, but if they are to succeed, also at the macro level too – what are the major change drivers in their market? – who are the movers and shakers?
- How to find meaningful ‘insight’: customers want to deal with sales people only if the sales person can provide some sort of clear focus on critical factors that the customer hadn’t thought of themselves.
- The commercials: high turnover is fine but what about the margins? Where are the real, long-term, profitable relationships to be had? Which customers’ corporate strategy aligns best with their sales organisation’s strategy? Which customers are going to be worth all the hard work and focus in the long haul?
- How to say ‘No’: not only to all those colleagues and co-workers who make unreasonable demands on the sales person’s valuable time, but also having the confidence to say to ‘No’ to customers who make unreasonable demands.
- Their company: the organisation’s corporate strategy, its vision, values and goals, its history and background, its current market position and competitors as well as all its relevant products and services.
- How to provide excellent customer service: the difference between ‘good’ profits and ‘bad’ profits is about the customer’s experience of the service they received – ‘good’ profits come from customers who rate the service they experienced 10 out of 10 and therefore become loyal promoters!
If you are new to sales or you are recruiting new sales people bear these in mind.