Joining any team can be daunting, particularly if you’re expected to hit the ground running and meet targets from the get-go. Imagine, then, how new salespeople are likely to feel as they set foot in your office or call centre for the first time. Although sales roles are among the most rewarding careers to pursue, they’re also some of the most difficult to get to grips with. Indeed, no amount of training is going to prepare your new team members for the challenges they’re going to face on the sales floor. So, how can you ensure that new starters feel comfortable, and that they’re able to tackle everything the job throws at them from the moment they don the headset?
I’ve compiled some of the advice you may wish to proffer to any new starters as they begin their sales career with your company. You’d do well to remind yourself of these pointers too; the world of sales is one that can change in a heartbeat, after all…
This one seems rather obvious, but it’s essential that new salespeople be prepared to listen to everything that’s going on around them; whether that’s training advice, customer queries, or feedback. New starters can learn just as much from sales floor veterans as they can their company handbook. Meanwhile, the most successful salespeople are those that listen to each prospective client, and judge their own responses carefully. Communication is a two-way street.
Do your employees understand the products they’re selling? Could they answer any question they’re likely to be thrown? Do they fully understand how your products meet the needs of prospective clients? During their training it’s your job to ensure that all new salespeople understand what’s expected of them. However, beyond training it’s up to each employee to prepare for the day ahead, as well as individual calls. Advise new starters to research the leads they’re likely to be contacting, as well as preparing their own scripts and questions.
It’s not enough to call prospective clients and reel off a list of benefits anymore; salespeople are expected to fulfil a need, and provide answers to a prospect’s dilemmas. Your sales team must be able to identify potential issues a client might be having, and use your product or service to solve that problem. It won’t be the look or expense of a product that will win the sale, but its ability to fulfil its promises. Ensure your new salespeople know how indispensable your products really are.
Your sales team will come to rely upon a network of contacts to chase leads, make sales, and introduce themselves to new prospects. Indeed, business networking is often at the heart of sales. Advise new starters to take note of those that have helped them, and to keep in touch with anyone who has proved useful thus far. Networking isn’t just an opportunity to earn favours, but to create mutually beneficial relationships. New salespeople need to understand how such communications work prior to settling into a routine.
Above all your new salespeople must learn from their own mistakes, and set their own goals. Sure, you’ve probably given your team a list of expectations during their orientation days and weeks, but they must settle into their own groove if they’re to embrace the life of a sales representative. Think about the ways you can help your team to flourish. Become an approachable point of contact for your sales team, and productive staff members who are eager to please will always surround you.
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