Send your staff to the sales coalface
Thursday, February 7, 2013/
One of the toughest challenges in business is persuading potential customers to part with their cash. Make no mistake about it; sales can be a really tough job.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of sales roles, especially when it comes to B2B sales: Business development managers and account managers.
Broadly speaking, account managers oversee a relationship with an existing client. They’re responsible for liaising with the client, making sure they continue to be a loyal customer, upselling or cross-selling products where possible, managing projects and generally keeping the customer happy. With the world economy in the mess it’s currently in, maintaining existing customers is hard enough.
If maintaining existing customers is tough, winning new ones over is next to impossible. That’s what business development managers do. At its broadest, business development includes cold calling and telemarketing. This is the “deep-end” of sales; the character building work of being told “no” dozens of times in the hope of sealing one deal.
In start-ups, or any company with any new product area for that matter, there’s far more of the former to do than the latter.
Which is why, at Taskmaster Enterprises, we throw all our sales staff in at the deep end, head first. They want to manage accounts? They want a job at the end of their three-month probation period? Well then, they better show Old Taskmaster they are good enough to win over some new customers first!
Especially in the earlier stages of running a business, it also doesn’t hurt to send your other staff to do a little sales work, even if it’s just one day a week or a fortnight.
Sure, some complain about being put on the phones to do some good old-fashioned outbound telemarketing or door-knocking. In Old Taskmaster’s book, a little sales work now and then is character building. Anyone who complains is either soft or lazy – or both!
If they come to realise just how difficult it can be to win new customers, perhaps they’ll also have a little more regard for how important it is to maintain our customers. Meanwhile, all of our staff receive direct feedback from current and potential customers.
So are your staff winning new business for your business? If they’re lazy and weak, perhaps it’s time for a little tough love. Send ‘em to the sales coalface!
Get it done – today!