The one thing salespeople want from their profession is the one thing business owners, supervisors, and sales managers seem to have the most trouble giving. I have read hundreds of surveys and talked with salespeople all over the country and have found that the most important thing people want from their job is self satisfaction, recognition, and to be and/or feel successful. Yet this is the one thing that supervisors do not give enough of.
Often sales managers/owners hire people without knowing whether they are capable of doing the job, never train them to do the job, never check on their progress, and then never tell them how they are doing. You could say that these people have fallen into the “black hole” of sales, an environment that will never allow them to reach their maximum potential. Sure, the majority of supervisors teach people a basic understanding of product knowledge, how to write up a sales slip, where the schedule is, when to take breaks, and what the housekeeping responsibilities will be. Are they taught what to say rather than “Can I help you”? Are they taught how to add on or are they just told to try and sell every customer more? These are the tools that they need to succeed, yet they are not being provided.
How often are these people really given the years of experience, tools, and knowledge that the supervisor has? Do sales managers assume too much and leave people to their own devices? Have you ever wondered why you have trouble giving people positive and/or constructive feedback? Is the reason because there is no objective means by which to measure productivity and/or sales skills and abilities? Do you have a system in place to guarantee people’s success?
Here are your choices: Hope that you hire successful salespeople or help your salespeople to be successful. The choice seems perfectly clear to me. Give people the tools to succeed, keep them informed of their progress, coach them in the areas they need to improve, and give them recognition for doing their jobs. It is called “sales training” and can be extremely expensive when you do not give it or you do not get it. Your people, sales, profits, and customers will all appreciate and respect you for it.
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. He publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 303-936-9581, or visit the website at iastraining.com.