101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas
LINE UP THE WHOLE TEAM BEHIND THE SALES PERSON
I once telephone the office of sales person I dealt with regularly for a while (in a plastics company from which I bought ring binders to use on training courses). Since he was usually out “on the road”, I did not expect to find him in except by chance. I asked the switchboard operator for him by name and without comment, and was told, “I’m afraid he’s rarely in the office during the day. He’s only a salesman”. Only a salesman? This was a guy who had spent time telling me that he was the most important contact I could have in his organization, and for all I knew his image was being regularly sabotaged by such remarks on a daily basis.
If you wonder why this occurs, consider: there can be something of them and us situation between inside staff and field sales staff. Largely, in my view, this is because the sales role is not understood. The prevailing image is of people able to swan about in their smart company cars all day with very little supervision. If the sales side is misunderstood, then the sales side must do something about it. Support staff and what they do are intimately connected with sales activity. If the sales person asks someone to send samples, for example, and they are late going out, then it is sales person who gets the customer moaning at them. It’s tempting to lay blame – it’s those in dispatch again – but this does not really help the customer.
From a plastics binder company …
I told my plastics binders contact about my experience, and he was incensed. He led a campaign to educate a variety of people around his organization, dispatch, the accounts department, and so on to spend time with him out visiting customers. Most were instantly more appreciative of the job the field sales team did, and cooperation and collaboration increased markedly as a result; so too did overall customer service. Such action could be described as a short, sharp shock to the people involved. Its effect would need reinforcing later on, but that too is worthwhile.
- Consider who you might educate about your sales roles and what difference might it make to service and to your sales results.
- Make this a regular job, briefing new appointees as they arrive.