Monday, September 12, 2011

Don’t Let Your Salespeople Drop The Ball

I don't often write about sales training. But a recent post by Chris Farmer on the Corporate Coach Group Blog makes an insightful observation on the topic that I wanted to share with you.

Farmer points out that many salespeople enjoy making new sales calls so much that they fail to follow up with "hot" leads that they cultivated in first meetings. They conclude those initial meetings by saying that they will send written proposals shortly – and then they never send a thing.

Why do salespeople drop the ball so badly? Farmer cites a few reasons:

  • Getting out and meeting new prospects is a lot more fun than following up with them. A salesperson who is courting new clients gets out of the office, eats nice food, chats, and has a good time. That's more entertaining than doing research or writing proposals about why the client should buy.

  • Salespeople naturally go where the blame isn't. No salesperson ever gets blamed for getting out of the office to meet with new customers. It's a surefire way to look productive and avoid criticism.

How can you prevent this problem? Here are some tactics that you could consider building into your sales training process:

  • Train your salespeople to write well, to use the Internet for research, and to use database and spreadsheet programs to create reports. I would bet that if your salespeople are avoiding the task of writing up reports for potential customers, it's because they don't want you to discover that they lack certain skills.

  • Don't over-pressurize the sales process. In your training, assure new salespeople that it is the quality of sales calls, not the quantity, which will win approval and rewards.

  • Offer resources to support follow-up and research. Consider hiring a college intern or part-time administrative assistant to handle the details of creating follow-up reports.

It all comes down to follow-through, a critical trait that you will notice everywhere in businesses that succeed.

Thanks to Diana Pohly / Step By Step Marketing / The Pohly Company

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