Some might think that the idea of “selling” to the sales force is like preaching to the choir.
But adults, they say, learn through spaced repetition with immediate feedback.
So… if we, as managers or business owners, don’t continually reaffirm the true message with our sales people, how can we be sure that they are expressing it properly? How can we be sure they haven’t forgotten? Or that they haven’t succumbed to the fears and doubts that are forced upon them each day in a seemingly hostile, uncaring marketplace?
If we don’t continually reaffirm the basics of the discipline, how can we be sure they are effectively applying their skills?
Successful “selling” is most often a function of consistent and persistent communication. Or, as eighteenth-century author and statesman Samuel Johnson phrased it, “People more often need to be reminded rather than informed.”
Consider the process through which our customers and prospects learn about us – our sales force stays in regular contact, assesses current situations, and then reiterates the features, advantages and benefits that are associated with the solutions we offer.
If it is determined that one of our valued customers is considering a competitor’s proposal, then our sales team works hard to remind that customer of the benefits of our products and services—the benefits of “staying the course” with us.
And so too is that the case with our sales people. We must stay in regular contact (sales meetings, field-support, strategy sessions…), assess current situations (attitude, sales funnel or pipeline, activity levels, strategies, etc.) and advise/coach them on how they might best proceed.
And when they tell us about the challenges of the marketplace, they need to be reminded of the true value that our organizations provide and that exists in the form of our products, services, and support.
Once-a-year performance reviews or periodic pep-talks won’t suffice, nor will a sporadic hit-or-miss approach to training and strategic planning.
Sell to your sales force on a regular basis and they will sell more in return.