Frequently Asked Sales Questions

■ What are some symptoms of non-performing sales reps?

  • 1) Disorganized make sure your sales department is organized. If your sales department is not organized hard to make sure your salespeople are. If your sales department is disorganized then that means there is lack of focus in the department and without question, your salespeople have a loss their focus

  • 2) They have the wrong attitude

  • 3) Salespeople are a special bred to be successful in sales, The single most important quality is Passion They have to have Passion for the industry in which you're selling, passion for the product, and passion for the person at the other end of the sale - all of these need to be present in order to be effective. You need to instill passion into your salespeople.

  • 4) If they are not good storytellers you need to teach them everyone from when we were little children love to be told stories. Selling requires outstanding communication skills, a surprising number of salespeople fumble when it comes to giving compelling reasons to trust them and the product. rep and leads to more pointed tactical executions down the road for connecting with customers on follow-up calls.

  • 5) Not being managed properly Majority of the time If your team isn't selling, you need to look is in the mirror. Do you have processes in place that put the customer first? Have you implemented a feedback system that gives performance reviews on a regular basis? Could you rattle off the key components to your follow-up strategy? If your sales team is disorganized, confused, it's probably because there wasn't a solid process in place, to begin with. You need to have the right tools, you need constant and consistent training/coaching

■ I have a high turnover in sales - what can be the reasons?

  • 1) When you hire the salesperson you discuss what was their objectives, what did he need to be successful and do you follow up with salesperson every 6 months to see how he answers were they able to accomplish their objectives, did he have everything that they needed to be successful

  • 2) Have you changed Compensation? If a salesperson’s compensation structure changes significantly and he/she cannot make as much money

  • 3) Poor management. When a salesperson has to deal with micromanagement and/or a manager who is unaccepting of his methods, he will likely become unhappy and resentful at work and consider quitting.

  • 4) Lack of growth. A salesperson will often abhor stagnation and will need plenty of growth opportunities to remain loyal to one company. Without those opportunities present, he may end up looking for a different work situation where his career

■ I have one high performing sales rep. What happens if he/she leaves?

  • You personally need to contact her salesperson major accounts. You need to assure them that the service and professionalism that the person leaving will be maintained by you.

■ Should I hire an independent rep or a direct salesperson?

This is probably the biggest question regarding sales that an owner needs to ask. I was a highly successful independent sales rep for 10 years. When i started another company designing, developing and importing product I got a different look at independent reps.So i think you need to look at some of the pros and cons ai have outlined below Bob Adams Pro and Cons which I subscribe to:

■ Pros

Independent sales representatives tend to be experienced and successful. They also tend to get better sales results than an in-house sales force might. Why? Because they usually have long and successful career backgrounds that include sales experience with large, national firms. This is really cool—it means that you, as the newest, smallest firm in your industry, are able to hire the best and most experienced sales pros in the business!

A huge, hidden advantage of using independent sales reps is that you can learn from them. I could never thank the independent reps I hired in my book business enough! Some became very close friends. They would not only keep me abreast of what was going on in the industry and what my competitors were doing, but they would also give me highly specific advice—watch this competitor for good ideas; try this new packaging; this price is too expensive; you need better sales materials; this book looks like a winner, increase the ad budget. The ideas and flow of information I got from independent reps were incredible! On top of this, they made it a heck of a lot more fun to be part of the industry.

- Experienced Reps Means Less Management Time for You< data-preserve-html-node="true"

Independent sales representatives are usually more experienced than in-house representatives and need less management and direction. If you hire them, you will be less likely to need a sales manager, and they will probably take much less of your time than in-house representatives will.

- Sales Expenses Rise and Fall with Your Sales

This is a big plus for a growing business that doesn’t have lots of cash in its early days, and also helps during downturns.

- Independent Reps Offer Longevity

Well-established representatives will be around forever. They aren’t likely to disappear after a few hard months on the road as so many entry-level salespeople do. Don’t forget, if you have your own sales force, the travel and other expenses alone can be even higher than the salaries.

■ Cons

  • 1) You Can’t Completely Control Independent Sales Reps They will only push those products they feel have the best chance of selling and making them money. They will tend to put their best effort into selling the best products from their most established lines.

  • 2) Beware the “First Time Out of the Bag” Syndrome As a new manufacturer, you are an easy target for the “first time out of the bag” syndrome. The representative will be looking to place orders for your product very quickly after he or she first introduces it. If that doesn’t happen, your product may well not be presented again. Of course, unless you have an agreement to the contrary, which would be unusual in this business, the independent representative you are using may very well be selling your competitors’ products, too! You should keep in mind that even if you have an established, long-term relationship with a representative, you must constantly “sell” him or her on the potential of both your existing and your new products.

The Bottom Line

For most small product companies, you are probably going to be much better off using and building a strong network of highly experienced independent reps than trying to build your own in-house sales force. Get to know them, support their efforts, be patient with them, and learn from them

■ How Should I Recruit Sales Personnel?

Before you place any ads or contact anyone you need to understand today younger people. I suggest the following:

      A. Training Plan – If you don’t have a 30-day new employee development plan, you’re just creating a turnover in your sales force. One of the key questions today’s younger generation wants to know is, “How are you going to train me?” After the initial training, you should have a mentoring strategy in place for further new-hire development.

      B. Have a compensation plan that you develop that is applicable to the experience level you are trying to hire You need to explain and show them how they are going to make money. They need a reasonable salary or guarantee along with volume and possibly some gross rewards. If you’re still pretty much a “straight commission”, go ahead and cut one of your toes off.

      C. 40-45 Hour Work Week young people today expect to have work-life balance. They are not going to put in the 50-plus-hour workweeks of yore. You built your business on “work-till-you -drop” mentality. You will need to get over it and create a reasonable and flexible schedule.

      D. Always Be Recruiting as the saying goes when you do not need money the banks are all in giving you money however when you need money they magically disappear. When you recruit primarily out of need, you’re lowering your standards of whom you’ll hire. Constantly look and talk with possible candidates.

■ Do I need technology as a salesperson?

Today knowing, understanding and using technology is not just for the few it is essential that all sales personnel,sales manager and small business Owner have a working knowledge of Today buyers are very savvy in technology and they are understaffed and need answers immediately not day from now So knowledge and understanding Of following are minimum:

      A. The Cloud this gives access to information that sales person can access instantly anywhere they are at any time

      B. DropBox or similar program are excellent if you have a large amount of information,pictures,catalog etc to send. MAny computer can only accept specific amount of information. Dropbox can send large amount of data and can be opened by recipient regardless of of recipient computer

      C. Conference Call Programs the ability to have a conference call either in the field or on the road is mandatory tool

      D. Zoom or similar program to allow for meeting online and demonstration is excellent program

■ How do I deal with travel and hours?

This is a major concern that the younger generation of salespeople have. It is not because they are lazy it is usually because they are more of partner on the home front or they feel other things outside of work have some priority, You should be able to give example and expectations in the hiring phase of sales personnel. You do not want surprises .

■ How do I deal with compensation?

There are numerous ways to pay salespeople the major ways are a) Salary only,b) salary plus commission, c.)commission only. The way you compensate will depend on your industry. The weakest plan is salary only, it is not good for the owner and not good to find aggressive passionate salespeople.

■ How do I earn customer loyalty?

Be honest,give them information complete,quickly respond to their needs. Most importantly if they see you as an asset in helping them do their Job and loyalty will grow.

 

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