It is a good idea for a salesperson to continually compare and assess their results. It helps them to avoid becoming “stale”, and slip into poor habits. They need to hone and sharpen their skills continually.
How does a salesperson carry out continual professional development or CPD?
Encourage them to take courses online, and follow blogs. They don’t need to take long, most of us have a fairly short attention span -20 mins a day is enough.
It may be a good idea to use the sales modules on this website as the basis of a training day, developing a sales presentation for your products as a team.
The Sales Team need to know their product back to front and inside out. So especially if your ranging is continually changing, you need to organize sales training events to allow them to become familiar with new products and ranges. This allows them to sell with confidence. They know their product benefits well enough to identify the solution to client’s problems with the perfect product for their needs.
Consider using eLearning to facilitate this process. They can use the time when they are waiting for an appointment, or in a hotel room in the evening, to enhance their product knowledge. Perhaps you can even produce content that could be used in the sales presentation itself.
Most salespeople are goal oriented, so keep this in mind when they are training. They will be motivated by being told they are doing a good job (when appropriate!), better still if you can quantify feedback for them. “Well done, you exceeded the goal for xyz by 10% “. Or perhaps if they do well in a role play, comment on it, “that was a great performance on a difficult call “. This will be more effective than generalized praise or comments. Once they are in the field it is also useful to praise them when they use concepts taught in training, as this consolidates the training.
How to manage sales people
Managing sales people is a little different from managing most other departments. The traits that make your staff so great at sales can make them more difficult to manage, and this can present difficulties for managers.
Successful salespeople can be very driven and this may make them impulsive, demanding, or unrealistic in their expectations. Sometimes they lack attention to detail, often they appear disorganized. But they are chasing the sale, that’s what they do.
You are the person who is expected to produce the results, achieve targets, close deals, and develop and deliver new Sales strategies to strengthen customer relationships, build loyalty and ensure customers are content, and receive the service they expect from your Team
How do you manage your team?
Try to avoid making hard and fast rules. Great salespeople generally want and need freedom to work in the way that comes naturally to them. They don’t tend to like rules, and usually achieve best when given a free rein.
Become a coach, rather than telling your team what to do. Ask for their input, listen to their opinions and discuss their solutions. Work with them on issues and find a solution with them, rather than expecting them to follow your instructions. They are the people in the field, they are experiencing customer response.
What you ideally want is to construct a methodology, a set of guiding principles, a framework that they can work within. So, they have a process to follow, but are not encumbered by rules and regulations.
Let them concentrate on what they do best. Consider what’s important to them, what drives them. Maybe they are not great at handling the administration, following up on detail. But if they’re great at selling, let them sell. That’s where the money is made, after all.
Get someone else to look after the details, within reason of course. They have to do some of the basic stuff, we all do! But don’t load them down with unnecessary stuff someone else could do just as effectively, if not better.
Always acknowledge their success. Money is not always the only driver.