According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, “companies are investing more than ever in sales training, but performance is not improving.
Just nine per cent of sales meetings end in a sale, and only one out of 250 salespeople exceed their targets.”
Getting good sales people is one of the greatest headaches for most enterprises. This poses a real challenge because technically it is impossible to succeed in business without and effective sales force.
Several experts have established beyond reasonable doubt that most customers make purchase decisions based on the character and competence of the sales person than all other factors. Most buyers first look at who is selling before looking at what is being sold.
This effectively means a sales person is the single greatest asset in the portfolio of an enterprise. Customers basically need a sales person who understands both the product and the customer, and who commands respect as an authority and acts or seem to act in the interest of the customer.
Contrary to popular misconception, customers don’t need a passive sales person who presents a product and gives them the honour of making an independent decision on the own.
They are looking for a sales person who will help them make an informed choice. Customers don’t want to be sold to. They want to be helped to make buying decision without any pressure from the sales person so that they can feel they are in control.
Whenever I go to eat in most exotic restaurants, both locally and abroad, perhaps due to my rural upbringing and tastes, I always have problem choosing the menu.
At such moments the things I like most is a waiter who explains to me the component of every menu and how it tastes so that I can make an informed decision. Sometimes I put the menu aside and ask for the e waiter’s suggestion.
I have noticed that most customers are like me. They need a sales person who will guide them. Sales people are technically consultants.
In this respect they must know both the product and the customer well. They must be experienced, knowledgeable and take time to understand the customer before making suggestions or recommendations on what to take. This is why every enterprise must take sales training seriously.
As a smart entrepreneur, you should not allow incompetent sales person to sell your products. They will do more harm than good to your business in the long run. It is as dangerous as allowing incompetent driver behind the wheel of your car.
Most enterprises, especially start ups, fail due to lack of competent sales force. With good training there are high chances of getting good sales people.
It is counterproductive to invest a lot of money and resources on research, marketing, product development and production and entrust the final product of incompetent sales people.
Always remember that the messenger is as important as the message. Most customers are not able to disengage the message from the messenger when making decisions.