August 29, 2014 By S. Anthony Iannarino
A checklist of things you need to provide your sales force.
- A Great Sales Manager who Leads: Every salesperson is owed a great sales manager to lead them. You should expect any salesperson who isn’t provided with a leader to fail, and it will not every be their own fault. This is the first and most important thing to provide your sales force.
- Mindset: You have to teach your sales force how to think about what it. Takes to do their job. You have to help them understand what they have to believe in order to succeed. You might think that you aren’t responsible for motivation, and at some level you are right. But you are responsible for giving them something to believe in. Mainly themselves.
- Skills Training: If you want your sales force to succeed, you have to help them improve their skills. One of the ways you best help them improve is by providing skills training. The best skills training is focused on fundamentals. The game is won through blocking and tackling.
- A Sales Process: Your sales force isn’t responsible for developing their own sales process. You must provide them with the collected knowledge and wisdom of your sales force on how deals are successfully moved from target to close. They may have their own style, but they should not have their own process.
- Scripts: Yes, seriously. Unless you believe every single sales call should opened with new and different language, that every question must be unique to one individual client, that every concern or objection must be resolved with some completely original language, you need planned dialogues. Some words are better than others. Some words create a better result. You owe your sales force those words.
- Nurture Tools: You do want your sales force to create value in front of an ask, right? Then they the tools to nurture their dream clients. They need white papers, case studies, surveys, blog posts, and any other tool that allows them to share some valuable idea or insight. This is what identifies them as a value creator and begins to differentiate them from their competitors.
- Coaching: Every great performer in every field has a coach. Or coaches, more likely. Your salespeople have blind spots. If they could see their own mistakes, they wouldn’t be making them. Coaching is how you help people recognize and take advantage of new possibilities, and by doing so, improve their own performance. It also makes them responsible and accountable for their own growth and development.
- Tool Kits: Playbooks. Differentiation charts. Sales call planners. Client questionnaires. Sales force automation software. Technological tools. Your sales force needs to be well equipped to be as effective as they can be. You owe them the tools of the trade.
What you do not owe your sales force is a rationale for not providing these things because, “I never had any of those things.”
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