The role of the sales person has changed, this change will continue. This change has been forced on the sales industry as a direct result of how buyers and decision makers are selecting who to do business with.
As information becomes more freely available, buyers are often more aware of what their business needs are and what solutions they wish to purchase, to such an extent that the role of sales person needs to accommodate a buyer educated to a far higher level than possibly previously encountered.
What does this mean for the typical sales person?
1. The sales person needs to challenge the understanding of the buyer – this takes care as the aim is to understand how and why the buyer has come to the conclusion he/she has come to. Of course, in taking this course of action, the buyer may well come to the conclusion that they don’t need your products/services after all…welcome to ethical selling, it’s a risk you take.
2. The sales person needs to broaden the awareness of the buyer – again a tough ask, especially if the buyer feels that he/she has done all the research they need to come to their very valid conclusion. Presenting alternative options and scenarios should be seen by the buyer as an opportunity to validate their conclusions and as a chance to revise and fine tune their thinking and decision making…and not necessarily as a chance for the sales person to change the buyers mind.
3. The sales person as the partner and not the supplier – the sales person needs to have a vested interest in the sale being a success for the buyer…not simply to be able to cash the commission cheque, more importantly the buyer is another branch in the community that the sales person will build throughout their career that will lead to ongoing referrals, references and word of mouth marketing.
4. The sales person is the facilitator of the buyers thought process – helping the buyer come to the best possible decision for them is the ultimate goal. Removing doubt, addition critical information to the buying process and removing the potential for buyer remorse are key elements of a good and ethical sales process.
5. Removing confusion – having gone through this process with the buyer is it crucial that the sales person has the skills and commercial acuity to ask for the business at the right time and with the correct price tag attached to the proposition. Without this skill and awareness, the sales person is simply an educator, advisor and free of charge business consultant that is helping the competition to prosper.
Thinking about the role of the sales person can sometimes help sales managers to identify key traits to look for in the sales recruitment process, as well as understanding what skills need to be introduced into the sales team to enhance performance and build sales skill sets.
If you wish to confidentially discuss the performance of your sales team and increasing their sales performance please call.
Carol Griffiths – Lead Consultant and Director
Morton Kyle Limited
0779 002 1885