So you have made the great leap and taken on a sales person. At last someone else will get up early to go networking and follow up on enquiries and proposals. Even better, they can generate loads of new leads and then go out and sell to them. Happy days right?
So why is it that I so often hear people complain about their sales people and their efficiency? Why is it that employing a sales person is considered one of the biggest challenges an SME owner faces?
Well the answer is obvious, they are all lazy and will not get out of bed for less than £500 commission…
Joking aside, being a sales person myself I wanted to try and explain why this happens and offer some potential solutions.
Cast your mind back to the time your sales person first came on board. Did you:
- Have their targets, KPIs and an action plan ready?
- Lay out a clearly defined sales process?
- Define your target markets?
- Have a marketing database ready?
- Sort out your brochures, case studies and other marketing literature?
I bet you did nothing of the above, did you? If you are particularly organised, you may have worked out their targets and KPI’s. Sorry to break it to you but sales people, like any trades people, need their tools to be able to work. So, if they have not got them, they will spend time creating them first of all which takes time and costs you money.
What can you do to remedy this and avoid being disappointed? Simples;
- Make sure your sales person has their tools so they can hit the ground running
- Make sure your expectations are realistic – business development takes time!
- Spend time with them and give them some training and support – sales people are delicate creatures…
- Create some easy opportunities for them to cut their teeth on while they are learning to boost their confidence – you can moan at them later when they become part of the furniture…
Now that we identified how to remedy the situation and save you money and frustration…Hand on heart, have you got the skills to set this up yourself? Is so then I hope this helped you get organised. If not, then bring someone in to help you, before your new sales person joins!
I am happy to help you with creating your sales person tools. Give me a call to discuss or e-mail me to request an information sheet.
Having worked for Rob Carter at Action Coach, I have heard it said many times that a successful business should adopt an abundant mentality: promoting the idea that there is enough business for everyone, you just need to go out and get it. I completely agree with this approach and believe that life is certainly too short to spend nights awake and worrying about your competition!
Saying that, I don’t think that means forgetting about your competition all together. There are lots of things you can learn from the competition:
- Model yourself against your biggest, most successful competition
- Learn how not to do business from the your worst performing competitor
- Find out how your competition are profiling themselves
- Understand where you need to advertise or make an appearance to keep your place in the industry
You don’t need to worry about your competition to want to understand how they operate better and make sure you are keeping up. So here is how you could carry out a quick review of your main competition: Choose your top four competitors, look at a variety from your top local competitor to the biggest or best company in the market;
Have a look on their website considering the following:
- The design and overall look
- How are they presenting their story, ethos and USP?
- Who are their target markets?
- What are they writing about in their Blogs?
- What do their client reviews say?
Have a look at their social media platforms:
- Which platforms are they using?
- What is the general message and image?
- Who are they approaching?
- How many followers and likes have they got?
Have a look through local and industry magazines:
- Are they advertising?
- Have they placed any editorials?
- What image are they portraying?
- What are they promoting?
Now that you have the information, ask yourself how you and your company compare to those you consider to be competition; what nuggets could you take and adopt to make your image and marketing better?
Do note that competition research can go much beyond the above and include a variety of tools comparing web traffic, target market engagement, effective customer journey and the like. You decide how deep you want to go as long as you don’t ignore your competition.
No time to carry out a review? E-mail us and we’ll see what we can do to help!