“All my sales reps are stupid.”
“My salespeople just don’t get it.”
“My salespeople do not know what they are doing.”
“I have lazy salespeople working for me.”
“My business is failing because my salespeople are not making sales.”
These are a few remarks that I have heard from business owners that attend my weekly Business Meet N’ Greet Networking events or call me to discuss their problems. When something goes wrong, they often blame the sales rep first. But sometimes, it’s not that simple. Sometimes the problem is that the business owner does not know how to stimulate their sales force. It could also be that the business is being held back by not adopting the latest technology in sales territory mapping which helps to optimize the routes of your salespeople.
Lack of sales could eventually mean closing a business. In insurance and finance, salespeople come and go more than ever before, like a revolving door. Business owners are puzzled on how to keep help. Many owners that I have spoken to do not have a backup plan for a poor sales team.
There is an answer to everything, I tell them. Instead of complaining, they should seek help, and I have the answer to this. If their team is not producing it is up to the owner to work with each salesperson that is not performing and ask them why they are not making sales. They should also consider new ways in which they can add to what their sales reps have to offer potential clients, for example pharmaceutical rep catering is really taking off. Many pharmaceutical reps have begun teaming up with food suppliers to offer catering while they pitch, which gives an additional memorable touch to the experience.
You as an owner should set goals for the company and for each individual salesperson, whether they work in business to business telemarketing or in any other sector. If you have a sales force that travels, you should go with each person and see how they work with new and old customers. Some owners do not have the time or are not qualified to be the salesperson. This is the biggest beef from the owners.
My answer is to hire a full time qualified Sales Manager to work with the sales team. If this is not in the budget then I recommend hiring a Sales Consultant, but not one that gives you a plan and leaves. You want one that will stay the course and travel with your sales force. From past experience you will benefit greatly from this.
What does a Sales Consultant do? A Sales Consultant meets with the owner and learns what his visions and goals are for his company. One of my clients hired my company as their Sales Consultant. First I met with the company employees as a group, and after I met with each salesperson. I told them what the owner’s visions and goals were for the company and instituted a bonus program for them. As a result, the company had a 30% increase in sales; they went from a deficit to a profit, from a negative to a positive. In addition to giving each sales representative a target, the company owner now also makes use of time-series forecasting (see here) to predict sales for the future. This helps them to see when they should release new products, for example. It also helps them to ensure the business is staying on track. Perhaps this sort of data should be used by more people.
Again, I will tell all owners that there is no such thing as a stupid salesperson. Sometimes the problem is with the owners. Remember nothing is impossible. I have a guaranteed six point program that will make your salespeople perform at their best to achieve the company goals. For information, contact Milton Paris: 732.306.0040 Nothing is impossible!!