Buyers don’t need to talk to sales reps who are just order takers!
Your order taker sales reps have been replaced by the ‘Buy Now’ button on your website.
And a chat bot maybe…
And good sign posting towards the FAQ section on your website….
Living breathing order takes…very expensive, a sign of a bygone age, a cost line on the salary bill that most/almost all firms have got rid of.
How about you?
Still have a few?
Sales Today is Not Selling
But then it never has been really.
You’re buyers want to talk to experts in their field, their industry, their sector and; most of all, their PROBLEMS.
See, your buyers want to short circuit the trip to the GP, and the referral letter to the specialist…they want the direct dial in to someone who is 2 chapters ahead of where they are…
A fast track to someone who is fluent, articulate, knowledgeable and seasoned…someone who has made/seen all the mistakes and can guide the buyer away from the more and into everlasting glory and success.
So you can see why order takers will actually repel serious buyers.
Sales prevention…right there on your front line!
You’re buyers knew.
And that’s costing you!
Sales Today is About Helping Then?
If you want.
But helping is just the price you pay to get a seat at the table.
Sure, the most helpful sales rep might hit his target more frequently than the order taker.
But helping alone won’t shift the needle and it certainly won’t get the e-signature in a box with any consistency.
And here’s why…
Just like your ‘buy now’ button has replaced the sales order taker, your chat bot and FAQ page has replaced your reception and half or your help desk…then Google has replace your ‘helpful’ sales rep…
All the info, none of the waffle, and all at 3 am in the morning if you want.
Helpful’s not even on the list when it comes to ‘reasons to buy…or not’ for you typical buyers.
You should be.
And while you’re reading this, start thinking about your sales team, your sales reps, one by one, how they sell, how they get their results…and see if this it happening right under your nose.
And, when you’ve done that…maybe drawn up a list, a few columns, then ask yourself
How much longer will you let ‘order -taking’ habits prevail in your sales team?
How long will you have order taking sales reps manning your sales front line now you know that Customers, Buyer, Prospects and Procurement teams have no use for that sort of sales person any more?
Here’s What’s Happening in Sales Today
Sales and the art of selling is changing….just like everything else.
New theories and sales practices.
Some reworked ideas will always come around again and again.
Some of them stick, some of them fade.
Many work, some don’t.
One thing that’s been around for ages, but always there in the background, as something that great business development professionals have know at their core and live every day is that…
Sales Is Not About Selling…And It Never Has Been
Read that again, because even more true today than it’s ever been.
The sales rep, the sales team, that smash their quota today, that succeed in a noisy competitive space, with discount jockeys buying business in a race to the bottom…
The sales stars that shine bright in that crew, and that succeeds today, that out performs the greater competitors.
Who secures the business.
Who leaves his sales persona at the door, is the sales rep who sets out to understand, educate, discuss, challenge and, in doing so, solve every single problem that the buyer has to a point of agreement and consensus.
Today’s successful sales rep is a problem solving, creative, educator, debater, counsellor and map maker.
Sitting inside the buyers head, he introduced the external world to that buyer, mashing together a position of strength for the buyer as those two worlds gel and the buyer sees his pathway from this world to the next….with the sales rep guiding the way, providing the light, informing the journey and challenging the demons…
This is a sales rep that can build relationships, pull in quota, build a strong sales pipeline, and all because that rep is a person of value, integrity and purposeful intent.
The New Sales and Business Development Reality or Not?
Ask yourself this…
How many of your sales teams are hitting their numbers?
If this question has got you shaking your head, fear not, as long as at least 54% are hitting their sales target then you’re outperforming the majority of sales teams in the world today.
That make you feel any better?
Well it should and it shouldn’t…and you can read about The Cost of Having Less than 54% of Your Sales Team Hitting Sales Targets here…
So back to the question…
How many of your sales teams are hitting their numbers?
Here’s a few supplementary questions to help you…
On a scale of 1 – 10 where 1 is an order taker and 10 is a King / Queen of their sector, expert adviser, industry expert and first class communicator who understands their clients, can distil complex information and translate it into big value solutions for their clients….
Where are each of you sales reps on that ranking of 1-10?
How closely does their ranking correlate to the frequency with which they hit their monthly target?
Hopefully this gives you some insight into the make up of your sales team.
Some hit their sales quota and why some don’t.
Some fail more often than you think they should.
Why Does this Matter?
It matters a lot.
Like when you’re looking for the perfect sales candidate to join your team.
Instead of thinking about the value of their address book, the length of service in your industry, the length of their business development career, maybe there are additional things to think about.
Like how good they are at creative thinking, how well they do at taking information in, applying it, and presenting compelling arguments.
Maybe assessing how confident they are in speaking to power, influencing, persuading, using data to back up their educational view points…
Maybe you’re looking for commercial educational professionals and not simply a sales person who can do the sales grunt work, but someone who can fluently articulate points of view and compel prospects to take action…
It matters a lot when you think about how you’ll manage the sales rep that displays these characters…
How you support their development.
What kind of sales manager they need to feel supported, empowered, enthused to join your firm and not the competition.
Check out some free reports below on how to attract and spot sales candidates just like this…
In the meantime, what skills should you expect this buyer-friendly sales rep to have
The Sales Skills Tool Box
Critical thinking skills – their ability to grasp complex situations, issues and constraints and see the Buyer’s issues for what they are and the impact they have on the Buyer
Naturally curious – genuinely interested in what’s going on, apt to be classified as someone who gets joy from being totally immersed in a subject matter that’s critical to their sector…perhaps someone who is naturally used to asking solid questions and able to organise their thoughts to absorb new information easily and rapidly
Team building – to build cooperation around creating a suitable solution with the relevant internal and external parties, including client side stake holder groups
Problem solving capabilities – the ability to see the real problem, test their understanding of that problem and it’s historic impact and future implications as opposed to just seeing the manifestation of that problem
Rapport building – to gain trust quickly and establish expert status with the Buyer and their influencers
Listening skills – genuine listening skills, listening to understand and not listening simply to sell, to use a conversation to reflect and advance towards an agreed goal
Communication skills – how good are they are respectfully pushing boundaries in the Buyer’s thinking? How good are they at being able to coherently present ideas, discuss scenarios whilst having all parties keep an open mind?
Ability to prioritise – their ability to differentiate between the urgent and important and respond accordingly
Negotiation skills – their ability to compromise and to broker compromise across different parties, different solutions
Resilience – in the face of challenges, objections, resistance, nay-sayers and group think
Creativity – seeing solutions that are not evident to the Buyer. Conveying those solutions with high levels of confidence and credibility
Belief – do they have it, can they convey and transmit their true belief in their solution
These are just a few of the personality traits, skills and attributes you might want to check out not just in your new recruits, but also in your existing sales team.
The Future of Sales People
Business development might have historically been thought of as a trade that people ‘fall into’.
Ask any 5 year old what they want to be when they grow up and I’ll bet few of them say ‘sales person’.
Sales people can be nurtured to be better business development, pipeline building, sales closers, that’s true.
What’s also true is that most great sales people are born with certain innate qualities that make them more likely to succeed.
So, anyone can be a great business developer?
I think so…they question is better asked as…
Who wants to be a great business developer and sales person, and, what are they prepared to do to get that title?
If you’re suffering any sales challenges that you’d like to discuss, book a time to talk, you can contact me on:
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Recruiting Grade A+ Sales Professionals
If you’re looking for further support and guidance on how to recruit the best sales talent for your business – check out these two Free Guides:
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Online, Virtual Sales Training
Your sales reps are your front line soldiers, the first point (and often last point) of contact that a prospective buyer has with your business.
When a huge chunk of the research has been done before that first contact has already been made.
When a potentially hefty slice of cash has been spent in getting the sales prospect to that stage.
Then wouldn’t it make sense to ensure your front line order takers aren’t totally killing your chances to convert from Hello to Order?
I think so…
Order taker sales reps shouldn’t exist in a competitive selling space.
I know that those sales teams who fail to hit target are doing so because they have a sales read with order taker sales reps.
They continue to do this when there really is no need to suffer the consequences of this.
If you want to upgrade your sales rep’s selling skills so they can compete effectively in the newbuyer paradigm.
Or if you want to talk about performance management to coach them through the transition, then let’s chat soon.
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