How to set your new Sales Rep up for failure

Imagine you are a new salesperson and on your first day after a brief orientation, your Sales Manager gives you a little pep talk that goes something like this:

“The customers are out there… all you need to do is go out and find them.”

Then after he loads you up with product literature and business cards, he finishes his pep talk with,

“Go get ’em tiger.”

Getting your new Sales Rep ready for battle

Sounds silly doesn’t it.

Unfortunately, many companies orientation program for new sales reps is not much different.

Sure they may spend a little time on product knowledge training. And maybe a little on how to write up and enter an order into the company’s computer system. But for many companies a formal sales training program designed to help their sales professionals succeed is not existent.

Or worse, it is so old and boring that nobody uses it.

The number one concern organizations have when investing in sales training is the cost. They think that developing a new program or revamping an existing one is going to be expensive.

What they don’t consider is the cost of having an untrained salesperson in the field.

  • The high cost of the negative marketing: The negative impression that the customer has of not only the sales representative, but your company. Untrained sales person tends to make a lot of mistakes and often a fool of them self, because they don’t know what they are doing or talking about.
  • The high cost of turnover: Salespeople will only struggle so long, getting rejected over and over again, before they will seek out easier challenges. Turnover costs can range anywhere from 30-150% of an employees annual compensation.
  • The high cost of loss sales: The difference between winning and losing in business (especially sales) can be extremely small, but the compensation is significant. An untrained sales person will lose out to the trained professional more often than not. This can be the difference between sales growth or sales decline. Between having a positive cash flow or going into debt. Between having a to expand, or laying off employees.

Effective sales training can be help your organization bridge that gap by:

  • Improving Credibility with your customer base: Customers love to work with professionals who are trying to help them succeed, not amateurs who are looking at them as a car payment.
  • Reducing Turnover of staff: Long-term employees have the opportunity to build a relationship and get to know what they need. This is attractive to customers who like to buy from people they trust.

Trust = Credibility  and Credibility = Sales

  • Improving Sales: Increasing the credibility of your sales professionals (and your company) will open the door for more opportunities, which will lead to more sales, which will lead to more revenue.

Just think of difference it would make to a new sales professional, when they enter the field confident that they know what they are doing, what they are talking about and how they can help their customers.

Armed with this knowledge and skills skill you will be motivated and prepared for success.

Then you really will be able to; “Go get’em tiger.”

What Amazing Bosses Do Differently

Worlds Best Boss

This blog post was from the Harvard Business Review and written by Sydney Finkelstein author of Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent where he talks about 5 things Amazing Bosses do differently.

We all know that job satisfaction often hinges on the quality of the relationships we have with our bosses. Yet in today’s rapidly evolving, 24/7 workplaces, it’s not always clear what managers should do to create the most satisfying work experiences and the happiest employees. My research into the world’s most successful bosses has unearthed some common practices that make work much more meaningful and enjoyable. If you supervise others, make sure you do the following:

Manage individuals, not teams. When you’re under pressure, it’s easy to forget that employees are unique individuals, with varying interests, abilities, goals, and styles of learning. But it’s important to customize your interactions with them. Ensure you understand what makes them tick. Be available and accessible for one-on-one conversations. Deliver lessons cued to individual developmental needs. And when it comes to promotion, look past rigid competency models and career ladders for growth opportunities tailored to the ambitions, talents, and capacities of each person.

Dr. Paul Batalden, a professor emeritus at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, who previously worked under Tommy Frist at healthcare giant HCA, told me that his former boss was “such an unusual CEO” of a company that size. “You could always get to see him. He always had time.”  Samuel Howard, another Frist protégé who is now CEO of Xantus Corp, added, “when you asked him to do something, he would roll up his sleeves” and work with you to get it done.

Go big on meaning.  Most employees value jobs that let them contribute and make a difference, and many organizations now emphasize meaning and purpose in the hopes of fostering engagement. But this is also the manager’s responsibility. You can’t rely on incentives like bonuses, stock options, or raises. You’ve got to inspire them with a vision, set challenging goals and pump up their confidence so they believe they can actually win. Articulate a clear purpose that fires your team up, set expectations high, and convey to the group that you think they’re capable of virtually anything.

Legendary bosses like Bill Sanders in real estate, Julian Robertson in hedge funds, and Bill Walsh in professional football all communicated visions that entranced employees and left them hell-bent on success. Scot Sellers, a protégé of Sanders who went on to become CEO of Archstone before retiring in 2013, recalled that his former boss “would lay out his vision and say, ‘I would like you to be a part of it.’ You were so honored to be asked… that you just wanted to jump in and say, ‘Sign me up!’”

To read the other 3 things that Amazing Bosses do differently click here:


 

Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management in Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the author of Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent (Portfolio/Penguin, February 2016) from which this article was adapted.

Motivational Quote: Boosting Confidence

Positive Impact of Boosting Confidence

Positive Impact of Boosting Confidence

“Never underestimate the positive impact you may have when you boost someone’s confidence, because praise is a powerful fuel for future success.” -Richard Elmes

How to ethically tip the scales in your favor: Science of Persuasion

Looking for ethical ways to tip the scales in your favor. Whether you are selling a product, presenting an idea, or asking for a date, these six principles can help. It is definitely worth watching.

This animated video describes the six universal Principles of Persuasion that have been scientifically proven to make you most effective based on the research in Dr. Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, Influence. This video is narrated by Dr. Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin, CMCT.

Succeeding with the Bottom 10%

I found a great article on how to succeed with the bottom 10% of your employees.

This was written by Dan Rockwell on his blog titled: Leadership Freak

Every organization has a bottom 10% of employees, leaders, and managers who perform poorly.

Your goal, if you can’t remove the bottom 10% is to maximize the situation.

Distributing poor performers throughout your organization.png

7 reasons for poor performance:

  1. Negative environments where managers are dictatorial, disconnected, or incompetent.
  2. Leadership that tolerates poor performers.
  3. No honor for high performers. Organizations that give across the board raises encourage poor performance.
  4. Lack of connection with colleagues.
  5. Lack of commitment to do well.
  6. Talent or skill deficit.
  7. Distraction because of personal issues.

Succeeding with the bottom 10%:

  1. Address it; don’t ignore it. In many ways, leaders get what they tolerate. Successful leaders address issues others ignore.
  2. Commit to building an environment that promotes and honors high achievement.

Is it a pitch or a presentation?

There was an interesting conversation this morning on Facebook between three excellent professional speakers (I would highly recommend each one of them) about the difference between sales pitches and sales presentations.

Prospects hate being pitched to

Kelley Robertson

 http://www.kelleyrobertson.com/

It’s a sales presentation, not a pitch!! Pet peeve of mine!!

Kit Grant http://kitgrant.com/

How well you do it is more important than what you call it. Companies who start calling customers guests under the premise that this somehow creates better service are kidding no one except themselves. I don’t mind being “pitched” if it’s done well.

 Kelley Robertson

Point taken, Kit. However, in my opinion the vast majority of sales people “pitch” with very little effectiveness.

Kit Grant

You got that right.

Richard Elmes http://www.richardelmes.com

I think the key thing is the intended benefactor.

If your intent is for you to benefit… its a sales pitch.

If your focus is on how your prospect will benefit… its a sales presentation.

If they feel like you are pitching to them then you create a lose-lose situation.

If they feel like you are presenting solutions then you create a win-win situation.

Kelley Robertson

Great perspective Richard!
So next time you are offering your solution focus on how your prospect will benefit because they will know the difference.
If you want to learn how to turn your sales pitch into an effective customer-focused presentation that will secure more sales, contact me @ 519-820-6207 or richard@richardelmes.com

Motivational Quote: Winning Perspective

“Once you have experienced excellence, you will never again be content with mediocrity.” – Thomas S. Monson