Best Practice #10 – Makes good use of tools provided by the company
A best practice for salespeople by Dave Kahle.
I just rode with two sales people for one of my clients. One of them went off with only the address of the company in his head. He took nothing into the sales call, and took no notes afterward. The other had looked up each call in the company’s CRM system, and had printed the records to take with him. He approached each sales call with a folder in which he had the printed record and some literature. Immediately after the sales call, he made notes on the document, and would enter it into the computer when he was finished for the day.
Guess which one produces more? You know, of course, that the second sales person produces about twice as much as the first.
I am absolutely befuddled by some sales people. Here is a simple, easy-to-implement best practice. Why aren’t you doing it?
It is as if some sales people strive to be unorganized, slovenly and mediocre. If your company has created tools for you to use, USE THEM!!
The best sales people have briefcases jammed full of the literature and samples that the company has created. Mediocre sales people often go into a sales call with nothing in their hands, or briefcases loaded with next to nothing. In addition to sales literature, “tools” include presentations, forms, and electronic tools like software and computers of every variety.
Superstars view all of this as effective complements to their skills. Their company literature presents their case in a written or electronic format that can complement their verbal presentation. Video and PowerPoint™ presentations portray the product/service in a more compelling way than the sales person can do alone. Forms help organize thoughts and require detailed thinking. Electronic tools like CRM systems, smart phones and tablets help organize the sales call, and provide a way to automate routine tasks.
Mediocre sales people see all these things as encumbrances: More “busy work,” or someone telling them how to do their job, or, worse yet, potential accountability. The real issue underneath these excuses is their fear of, and inability to, change in positive ways and become more effective at their jobs. It is just easier to complain and find fault with the latest software tool that the company wants you to use, than it is to actually take the time to learn it.
Taking the time to learn the new thing, to make use of the latest tool, implies that you may not have been doing this the best way possible in the past. That implies that you can, and should, improve. It’s that implication that motivates most mediocre sales people to reject the company-provided tools. To accept them is to give tacit acceptance to the idea that they can and should improve. They would rather hide under the radar screen of accountability.
That’s why making good use of the company-provided sales tools is a best practice of the best sales people.
For Sales Managers…
Use this rating scale to assess the extent to which each of your sales people evidence this best practice.
To help your sales people implement this practice…
a. Make an inventory of all the literature, forms, electronics, software, etc. that your company has available as tools for the sales people.
b. At the next sales meeting, review each tool, indicate how it should be used, and the impact it can have.
c. Require the sales staff to begin using them.
d. As you ride with them, audit the contents of their briefcases and files to determine the extent to which they are using the company’s tools.
e. Recommend specific improvements for those who need them.
f. On the next visit, inspect the degree to which they made the improvements you indicated.
About the Author:
Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. Check out our Sales Resource Center for 455 sales training programs for every sales person at every level.
You may contact Dave at The DaCo Corporation, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright MMXIV by Dave Kahle
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