The elements involved in building a sales force, especially one that pays for itself and also adds value to any business, are many and varied. The whole purpose and direction of a sales manager needs to be directed to creating a sales force that causes employing company to expand through increasing sales. This is done by following general steps: Training sales staff to be able to sell company product in large volume; correcting how sales presentations are made; handling any customer flaps his sales people make; and then testing and hiring more sales people, to create an ever increasing sales force. This is a continual process that a sales manager must be doing to justify his existence. If he doesn’t, company cannot expand.
Training to make a good sales person “Training them to be able to sell company product in large volume.” A very wise American philosopher once stated that all a salesman had to do was to continue to try to interest customer and customer would eventually buy, if sales man continued to try to interest customer! Like all great truths, they are ‘obvious’ once stated.
So, what does it take for a sales person to continue to try to interest a customer, no matter what objection customer raises and despite sales person’s own impulse to ‘give up’ after a while? Lets look at elements:
The sales patter: The first of these would be a successful sales patter. Here we are talking about getting a hold of someone or several people who are successful, at selling to customers, in target industry, or a similar industry. Once such person(s) are found, you need to interview them to find out what they DO that made them a success. We are looking for actions they take and things they do, not what they think.
The best person to interview for this information is usually most successful sales person, right there in company, if one exists. Notes should be carefully made of actions they take to get a sale and these notes should be very exactly written up and turned into a patter that can later be drilled on new and old members of sales force.
Advertising and preparation: Next, a series of sale recruitment advertisements need to be created for local newspaper. The receptionist of company needs to be briefed on what to do when calls come in. The adverts need to be big enough to attract attention and have enough mystery in them so that people actually call in to find out what its all about.
The receptionist should understand that all she is doing with calls from advertisements is routing them to person doing this project. She does not answer questions about what company is and what is being offered. She simply arranges for them to come in for an interview at a scheduled time or collects their phone numbers so that they can be called back and scheduled to come in, by someone else.
The interview: When applicants for sales position come in, their interview is very specific and to point. There are certain very specific criteria that are being looked for in a good sales person. The two main one are, (a) can they persist along a given course? (b) Are they are interested in people?
That is an easy statement to make, to be sure. However, to find such people requires very exact interview procedures. The first step is testing. We use a series of 3 tests. One of these provide a detailed look into 10 most important job related traits such as Stability, Goal attainment, Composure, Certainty, Activity level, Aggressiveness, Responsibility level, Correct estimation, Appreciativeness and Communication level.
The other 2 tests measure an applicant’s ability to solve problems and how well they are able to following instructions – a vital test for anyone operating machinery where understanding and following instructions are very important!
With results of 3 tests, one only needs to ask applicant questions regarding his past job failures, past job successes and when they first decided that they wanted to be in sales. These answers, compared to results of 3 tests tell whole story and can really make it very easy to select applicants most likely to succeed as sales people.