Don’t blame the salesperson …

…it might be your fault!

Susan Marot

Consider the thought that your salesperson’s poor performance might be your fault!

In the last week I have spoken to four clients about the same thing, employing new sales people. One client is about to employ their first ever salesperson and another is on their 4th in less than a year! However each of them wanted to know the answer to the same million-dollar question.

“How do I find a salesperson superstar that helps me get to where my business needs to be?”

Now if I already knew the answer to that question I would probably be sat on a private beach in the Caribbean with a large mojito at my side, not at my office desk in Lincolnshire!

Back to reality though and there is a lot written about what to look for in a great salesperson. Do they have drive and a will to succeed? Are they personable, but focused on over-achieving the targets you have set? One of the best questions when interviewing sales people is to ask yourself “Would I mind them selling for the competition?”

How are you supporting your sales people?

Most of this advice focuses on what to look for in a salesperson, but I want businesses to consider if they are good enough to employ a great salesperson. Think about the following.

  • “What is the target I need them to achieve, and by when?”
  • “Is the data and prospect list current and of a sufficiently high standard to help them succeed?”
  • “What tools do they need to achieve target?”
  • “Do I have all the skills to motivate and manage a sales person?”
  • “Do I really understand all the costs of employing a salesperson and the impact that this might have on the business?”

I have worked with several clients who have even engaged proven sales people to find that they were unsuccessful in selling their products or services. It’s sometimes, but not always the lack of the salesperson skills which are to blame. In my experience it is often down to a lack of support and guidance around following the sales process within that business.

Let’s face it, you wouldn’t engage a decorator to revamp your house without first giving them a budget, completion date, information on style etc! Do you really think you would get the house of your dreams? Well it’s the same when employing a salesperson.

Engaging a salesperson with minimal training and support on how your business sells, is a risky strategy. If you do, and they fail, can you honestly say it was their fault!

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