Take a look at the makeup of your sales team. Do you think they are Sellers? Do you know what a Seller is? Seems like an obvious question, but when you peel it back, you realize that there are a lot of roles within “sales” that don’t really amount to selling. This is especially true in large companies, with legacy customers.
One enormous differentiator is rejection. A seller lives in a world of rejection. Have you ever worked in a call center? A start-up? Multi-Level Marketing? I’ve done it enough times to know a few truths:
- Selling can be hard
- Lots of people say they can handle rejection, but few do it well
- Most sales reps don’t see enough people, because they fear rejection
- Poor sales reps don’t track their activity – mostly because there is no activity
The thing about sales is…it’s work. It’s not order taking. It can be jolting for some sales professionals to find out that they really aren’t sales people at all. In fact, most executives don’t differentiate between top salespeople and top account managers – and let me tell you…the difference is enormous.
- Manage specific accounts – more appropriately – services the accounts. By far, the most common.
- Solves daily issues, maintains the business relationship, and if good.. keeps an eye on competition.
- They are very, very important to a business, but they are most definitely NOT Sellers.
Major or National Account Manager:
- Total farmer.
- Assigned just one or two accounts, and their subs…the farmer’s job is to grow these large, existing customers.
- A really good farmer with networks within the Lines of Business gets closer to selling, but the customer is already sold on the brand. Upgrades, new product releases…that’s still not the same as selling or producing.
Seller or Producer:
- Primary responsibility is to grow sales by finding and closing new business. Hunters and Closers.
- They ALL make cold calls and sell into NEW accounts to reach and exceed their goals.
- Salespeople are looking for people with challenges that they can convert. Account managers are preaching the choir.
Companies get themselves into trouble when they ask account managers to go out and generate new business. It’s just not going to happen. The account manager is not a producer…it’s not in their DNA. So if a company is looking for new business…then they need hire the talent.
Want to know if your Reps are Sellers? Ask them to answer a few questions…This is a great exercise for you, too:
- How many times was I rejected this week…not for a sale…for an APPOINTMENT?
- How many calls do I have per week with target accounts, vs existing accounts?
- How many times do I have to dial the phone to speak to a decision maker?
- How many decision makers do I need to speak with to get an appointment?
- How many meetings do I need to go on to close a sale?
If they don’t know the answer to these questions, it’s because they don’t track their activities. This means they don’t have a strategy. This means they don’t have a system. And if they don’t have a strategy or a system…if they don’t LOVE SALES…You don’t have sellers.
- Sellers don’t wait for a call.
- Sellers find business.
- Sellers have a strategy and a plan and they execute. Every. Week.
- Sellers have passion.
- Sellers aren’t comfortable. They are always out of their comfort zone.
- Sellers are always prospecting.
The answers can be very illuminating…either you have affirmed your belief, or you realize why you hate going to work in your metric driven SALES or SALES MANAGEMENT role every week. The sooner you realize it, the sooner you can do something about it.
I’m going to keep going with this. Over the coming months, I will be stripping down the sales process – especially in technology solution sales…to help anyone who wants to start formulating a methodology to find success managing sellers…or being a seller. There are so many resources to leverage!
Shift your view…wake up on Monday with a fire in your belly. We got work to do.