Turn your sales staff into “interns” one day each fortnight

taskmasterYesterday, I outlined why it’s a good idea, especially in a small early stage start-up, to have your staff spend one day per week or per fortnight in sales.


The article prompted a reader to reply: “The same is true of sales staff – they should spend a bit of time in the other areas of the business (production, after sales service, etc) to see what really goes on behind the scenes.”


Old Taskmaster agrees entirely – with one big asterisk. And this condition applies just as much in reverse, when staff in other areas do their one day per fortnight in sales.


The condition is that any critical duties in their main job have to come first.


Let Old Taskmaster give you an example. Let’s say you’re going for a state government tender. After weeks upon weeks with no reply from the bureaucrats, suddenly a public servant needs to fill in or send out some paperwork and demands to speak to the salesperson liaising with them – right now!


Their duties liaising on that contract still take priority over any other work they do, and their day in another department each a fortnight should be planned around their work on the tender.


So, what do you do with a salesperson during the day away a fortnight?


Well, in effect (at least at first) they become like an intern or a work experience kid, if they have no specialised experience in that area.


The main point of these sorts of arrangements is so that staff in other areas of the organisation get a feel for what’s happening on the sales front line, while sales staff get a better feel for what the company can and can’t deliver – and why.


Get it done – today!


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