New sales talent, new reputation



Comments (3)

Comment Feed


Hi Neil

Thanks for the response and the points you raise. While so much more info is available online, people buy from people who are knowledgeable. If you can be a subject matter expert in your field you will still be able to provide detailed information that can help the customer/client. Even in electronic retail sales a salesperson with knowledge can make a difference to whether you buy the TV in store or online.

Just a quick point with regards to Senior team leaders and managers, they should be able to understand the market and any changes taking place in it. If not, you need to ensure they are also receiving training, or if necessary find more open minded leaders. Investing in trainee level can sometimes start by investing in the senior team to ensure they are ready to lead!

Thanks again Neil

Lee McQueen more than 4 years ago

Senior Team capabilities

Lee, given your busy personal life at the moment, thank you for making the time to reply! I hope mother and babies (and father!) are doing well.

I think you have put your finger firmly on one point that many companies forget – continue to invest in your senior team to ensure that they are up to the job. It’s easy to assume that people who have reached a certain level are no longer interested in self-improvement and that is a slippery slope to mediocrity.

I try to see every day as a learning day. The day that stops is the day to quit!

Neil Fletcher more than 4 years ago

Sales change a'coming?

Lee, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said (you’ll be pleased to hear!) but…

I think there are a number of factors at work dragging down the reputation of ‘sales’.

Firstly, there is the fact that it’s all lumped under the same label. The required skills to sell cars to the public differ widely from those required to sell clothes ranges to retailers which differ from those required to sell huge trucks to mining companies. But ‘salespeople’ do all of these things; some of them do it well and some of them do it badly. The 140th ranking comes from those who have suffered at the hands of bad salespeople!

Secondly, “Having senior team leaders and managers who have started at the bottom and worked up…” can actually be detrimental to the new sales person. This is particularly true in the current climate where the senior people succeeded by hitting the phones and pounding up and down the motorways to see buyers who had time to spare. Those buyers also treated salespeople as their major source of information on what they were trying to buy.

Now you are faced with buyers who have hit the internet and gleaned the bulk of information they think they need before they ever agree to see a salesperson. If they don’t like what they’ve found about your offering, you don’t get to see them. Doesn’t matter how many messages you’ve left or how many e-mails you’ve sent, you’re out of their process. BUT your senior leader doesn’t understand - “it worked for me, if it isn’t working for you it must be your fault.”

So he buys in some training that reinforces his ideas of how sales works. Except it doesn’t so you’re out on your ear and some new cannon fodder is put in place to go through the same routine. Except they don’t get the training ‘because it didn’t work last time.’

The main way for sales to gain the recognition and respect it deserves as the key driver of the economy is to raise the entry barriers. Make it more difficult for someone to call themselves a salesperson, have nationally recognised qualifications, don’t call everything ‘sales’ – differentiate.

Apologies for banging on so long (it could have been a lot longer!) but we, as a profession, really do need to work actively to change things as they won’t change by themselves.

Neil Fletcher more than 4 years ago

Subscriber sprocket