How To Develop Your Immature Sales Team
Thus far in our ‘Why should you use a 3rd party organisation for lead generation’ series, we have looked at the benefits that professional assistance in lead generation will provide an organisation in terms of time saving. Along with this, we have also reviewed how working with the right company will raise their organisational ability in turning those sales leads into qualified opportunities and ultimately business. In part 3 of our series, we will review how time saved in the process can be used to raise the quality of the sales team.
The First Step!
The natural instinct on receiving a good lead is to give it to your most successful salesperson in order for them to turn it into business. However, the alternative low risk and high return scenario is to use the lead to walk one of your more inexperienced salespeople through the process of handling that lead – working alongside them in researching the target company, running through the qualification process again, planning the content of an initial meeting and having them set up a meeting with the potential client. Once the meeting is set, it is important to ensure that the time that will be spent in the meeting is used productively – it is also crucial that you as the senior member of the team do not dictate and run the meeting.
There is lots of very good training around on how to conduct and manage a first time meeting with a potential client. For example, saleslearn.com delivers a fun and informative video tutorial on face-to-face selling skills as part of its ISMM Diploma programme. The importance of first impressions, as an example, is crucial. Dressing appropriately, making initial remarks, asking open ended questions, listening attentively, maintaining a good meeting tempo and crucially managing the time you have available – i.e. do not overstay your welcome! These are all skills that all effective sales people must have. They are also skills that cannot be taught without the benefit of these real life opportunities – a sort of sales sandwich development programme, some training and lots of practical experience to support the learning.
The manner in which your salesperson handles themselves in this situation, (with the help of your mentoring) will greatly assist in quickly developing the confidence to be effective. Often new salespeople lack confidence due, they feel, to a lack of product knowledge. They consider, incorrectly, that the prospect wants to talk product when in fact mostly what they want is for you to understand their problems.
Developing good habits at an early stage through the bonus of a quality lead will quickly yield benefits in your junior sales team members. Starting off with confidence in you and a growing confidence in themselves, spreading to an eagerness to develop through further education, reading and personal improvement. By utilising this approach, you will have made a significant step in improving your sales team as others will see this and want the same opportunities.
What of your trained and successful members, where do they improve and how do we deploy them better? We will examine that question in another blog.