Business Owner & Sales Person Relationship

I have observed and been in the middle of the sometimes contentious relationship between the owner of a business and the sales person or group of sales personnel. It has been observed in way too many situations and I would like to raise the awareness of those business owners that may be feeling some of things that I will talk about in this post, as well as help some owners avoid this very destructive environment.

Let’s say you are a business owner and you are early into having someone else sell your product or service. You are not quite sure how to motivate, manage, or deliver the things necessary to help your sales person be successful. All you know is that your sales person must make sales calls and lots of them. You choose to measure their activity by the number of sales calls made per day and during the week. This is an important activity because nothing happens until two people engage in a conversation and a sale is made. My point is that there is more.

It is critically important to make sure you take care of some basic things before sending the salesperson out in the field to meet new prospective customers. By taking time to address some, if not all, of the issues that follow, you will start off on the right foot and the organization will be much better off. Some important questions to consider:

  • Has the salesperson organized their region of prospects that they are responsible for into an efficient and effective plan?
  • Does your salesperson have an effective message to engage those new prospects so that they will continue to engage with them after the first sales call experience?
  • Do you have a tool to collect the status and stage that the activity your salesperson is generating can be accessed and monitored?
  • Have you addressed the importance of planning each and every day with your salesperson or do you leave it up to them to wake up in the morning and say “Mmmmm what am I going to do today?”
  • Have you structured your compensation plan that keeps the salesperson “hungry”?

When the business owner provides some product or service training, hands the salesperson a list of potential clients, and send them off on their merry way to “sell stuff”, you are doing the organization, the salesperson, and you, as the business owner, a disservice and I can guarantee you that it will not go well. Frustration will creep in for all parties involved and a lot of time and energy will be wasted.

“Do it right the first time” is an age old saying and it certainly applies to the subject of this post.  If you would like to discuss this subject further, I welcome you reaching out to me and I would be glad to help.