Jonathan Farrington

The responsibility for ensuring that every member of a sales team is successful and performing at optimum levels lies entirely with management and when a salesperson gains promotion to management the first thing they have to do is to quickly acquaint themselves with a new set of working relationships - and a new set of rules.

The salesperson’s primary working relationships are with customers: However the sales manager’s is with the sales force i.e. his subordinates. For example:

Essential Attributes Include:

Successful Salesperson:
- Personal drive (Ego).
- Needs to win battles (Individual sales).
- Able to work alone.
- Persuades customers to see his/her point.
- Needs selling skills, personal skills and knowledge.
- Able to work away from the office.
- Works well with people and numbers.
- Good at implementing sales tactics.

Successful Sales Manager:
- Submission of personal needs to the goals of the Company (Corporate drive).
- Needs to win the war (Meet corporate goals).
- Able to work with others.
- Persuades the sales team to see the Company’s point.
- Needs management skills and marketing knowledge.
- Needs to work at the office.
- Works well with people, numbers, paperwork and the corporate hierarchy.
- Good at developing sales and marketing strategies.

The most common danger in having sales managers who are basically super salespeople is that relations with subordinates including the critical tasks of development and supervision may deteriorate.

When I am asked to diagnose why an individual or even an entire team are not performing at optimum levels, I usually ask just four very straightforward questions:

• Are they visiting/talking to enough clients/prospects? In other words are they pro-active and are their activity levels high? I call this CCT as a percentage of TWT (Customer Contact Time as a percentage of Total Working Time)

• Are they talking to the right people within those client/prospect organisations? Are they able to penetrate the formal DMU (Decision Making Unit) and reach the MAN? (The person or people with the Money, Authority and Need)

• Are they saying/doing the right things? This really means - how strong are their selling skills?

• And finally, how is their attitude – that small thing that makes such a big difference.

From these four questions, I usually discover the answer but actually, it can sometimes be a little more complex and I refer to the “Eight Reasons Why Salespeople Fail” Continue Reading

This week I have invested time in improving my “broadcasting techniques” ahead of my second show on Sunday and I have also been lining up some very interesting guests for March and April – I do hope you will tune in and even participate. As I suggested last week, this really is new territory for me but I am determined to make the most of the opportunity and I feel I am gaining invaluable experience ahead of the launch of “Top 10 Sales Articles”, which is a tailored made initiative for BlogTalkRadio – if you want to check on future schedules, you can follow that link.

Interesting news just in from Skype if you are a fan like me: “Skype today announced a new beta version of their Windows offering (v3.1.0.134 beta). It’s main new feature is Skype Prime (beta) - something that will appeal to many entrepreneurial bloggers.

In short, it enables paid Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls. You can charge other people for calling you either a one-off fee or by the minute. Conversely, if you are the caller, you can call experts who charge for their services, and you can then pay the fee and access the expertise that the other call party provides.”

The timing of this announcement is fortuitous, as we are working on plans to provide online consultancy – more soon!

Last week I provided you with details of David Bain’s upcoming seminar in Edinburgh on April 11th but I omitted to mention that there is an “Early Bird Discount” if you book your place(s) by Friday March 23rd. Full details are here:

www.purpleinternetmarketing.com/13-Pillars.pdf - hope to see you there!

This week’s article on the Group site: thejfagroup.com is “Strategic Selling Begins And Ends In The Boardroom”

“In most industries to-day, a handful of ideal customers have become universal targets. Nearly every industrial salesperson dreams of calling on the CEO’s or managing directors of those top companies, which logically means that in the UK there are maybe 500 customers for a million sellers. With such intense competition, conventional approaches are not equal to the challenge. Salespeople need to develop strategies that distinguish their products, services and their organisations in the mind of the customer.” Continue reading

And on my personal site: jonathanfarrington.com I provide some tips on how to construct a winning proposal:

“A professionally prepared proposal is an essential part of the overall sales cycle and is often the only way some members of the customer’s decision making unit (DMU), find out about you, your company and your proposed solution. If you fail to adequately represent what you have to offer, all of that time invested in first locating the opportunity, initial meetings, qualifying etc, will have been totally wasted. Here then, are the essential ingredients of a professional proposal.” Continue Reading

OK, that’s it, thank you for your continued support and wherever you are, as ever, have a great week.

JF

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