Salespeople Are Not CSRs

I was working with a VP of sales on a new compensation plan for his sales force. He wanted to encourage the team to make more presentations of new products and programs to their customers. I asked how many presentations they made each week, on the average. “I don’t think a week is the right duration to measure”, he replied. Then “Let’s use a month. How many presentations do you think they make per month?” “I think we’d be lucky if they averaged one” he said. I was stunned. One? How could that be? “If they aren’t presenting something, what are they doing?” I asked. His answer: “Taking care of problems, nurturing the relationship, writing orders – just generally being nice guys, and taking care of the customers.” “You don’t have sales people,” I replied, “You have mobile customer service representatives.” Regrettably, the company described above is no longer in existence.
This is not uncommon. The world is full of people who call themselves sales people, but whose vision of themselves is really a “mobile customer service rep.” Now, however, we are in a new economic climate. The companies who want to survive and thrive, and the sales people who work for them, will need International Financial Consultant Salary to sell better than their competitors. That means they can no longer merely expect their relationships to stimulate their sales. Professional sales skills are required. In the new economy, both distributor sales people and distribution companies need to create demand for the lines they carry.
A way to measure the quality of a sales force is the degree to which the sales force is proactive. To what extent do the sales people routinely plan for the penetration of key accounts, sales calls, assertively set the agendas, probe customer issues, and present solutions? Professional sales forces, focus on doing all of these with increasing proficiency. Measuring the quantity of sales presentations made every month will shed a light on the degree to which you, or your sales force, are proactive. This is incredibly revealing, easy and simple.
The definition of a sales presentation is when a sales person delivers information to the customer about something the customer can buy from him. So, for example, when a sales rep lays down a sell sheet about a new product, and says, “Let me tell you about this,” that is a sales presentation. So, too, for the product demonstration, the written proposal, Implementation Consulting Firms even a response to a request for a price estimate. If you can pull this information off a CRM system, great. But even a simple hash mark system will work. Every time you, or your sales people, make a presentation, just scratch a hash mark onto a piece of paper. At the end of the week, count up the total and see how proactive you’ve been.
True, there is no provision for the size of the presentation. In other words, a presentation to a “C” account counts the same as a presentation to an “A” account. And those big deals where it may take several months to get to the point where you can make a presentation – there is no accounting for that. Nevertheless, you can certainly add some layers of sophistication to take into account the size and strategic value of the account. But for now, let’s just get an indication of the degree to which you, or your sales force, are proactive sellers. This simple little measurement – the quantity of sales presentations made – can go a long way toward shedding light on the degree to which you, and your sales force, are equipped to sell better in the new economy.

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