Building the right sales team is a very difficult task but a critical one, it can take many months even years to get right & its only going to get more difficult with the endless introduction of new platforms & tech.
I have met with many business owners who believe there is a sales unicorn somewhere out there who is the whole package, the real McCoy, an outstanding prospector who can open any door, the relationship guru who makes clients go weak at the knees, the challenger who is not afraid to say no and the account management superstar who has a 100% client retention record.
Well, unfortunately they don't exist, well they might but so might unicorns right?
Sales is a very broad term for a very large process, the best sales teams play to peoples strengths and know exactly what part of the process they belong to. They utilise their sales team efficiently and know exactly how to get the most out of them.
The 7 different types of sales roles:
As an inside sales rep, you are responsible for maintaining existing client relationships. You are the main point of contact for your company’s clients, and are expected to retain their business and build a strong business relationship.
Outside sales is considered as a traditional method in that it is face-to-face, done primarily outside of the office in direct interaction with their customers. An outside sales rep will typically spend more time in their customers’ offices than in their own.
As team-based sales operations are becoming a more common strategy, working in sales support does precisely what it’s title suggests: you work to support the sales reps. Working primarily behind the scenes, sales support takes care of the details to help those who perform client-facing roles like outside sales close their deals faster.
Working in client services is similar to working in inside sales. As client services, your responsibility is to work with customers to ensure their needs are met and to nurture a strong business relationship. By ensuring customer satisfaction, client services work to increase company growth through the existing client base.
Lead generation/development is responsible for conducting research and networking to make new business contacts. The right research could lead you to discover untapped sales potential. You’ll also be responsible for assessing the viability of the connection and to what extent it’s worth pursuing and forecasting potential results.
Business Development Manager
Business Development Managers bring in new business for your company through a number of methods ranging from cold calling to door to door. Like outside sales, they most often make their sales face-to-face.
Account Managers are responsible for focusing on existing accounts. In addition to ensuring the needs of their clients are met, an account manager will find creative solutions and innovative techniques to continue selling their company’s services. The main goal for an account manager is client retention.
When building a sales engine you first have to understand your sales process, does your service require a high level of ongoing support and account management? does it focus on a steady pipeline of new business? Do you up-sell your existing client base? or is it a combination? Its crucial to understand this as you need to allocate the right resource to the right department, much like an engine, if the mix is wrong, you are going nowhere.
Understanding what you need is the easy part, the more difficult part is finding the right people and allocating them to the correct department. Sales people are a funny breed (i should know i am one of them). They all have different qualities, different strengths and have a preference to specific parts of the sales cycle.
The 5 different types of sales people:
Passive salespeople tend to play the waiting game. They rely on the right customer to come along ideally one who already knows what they want and then lead that customer through the transactional phase. While passive types of sales people are not likely to pursue a consumer, they can achieve success in the right setting, namely one where the consumer is likely to make the first move.
The relationship-building types of sales people are in it for the long haul. In sales environments that rely on account development, the relationship-builder is a key player. They get to know how the customer’s industry works and devote time and energy to ensuring that the needs of each client are met. Relationship-builders can appeal to the consumer’s emotions and personally connect with consumers.
The results-driven types of sales people have a singular goal in mind: making a sale. They are motivated to sell and will pursue a client using their powers of persuasion to seal the deal. Results-focused sellers, also known as “closers,” make enthusiastic sales people who are dedicated to expanding account portfolios.
The number one concern of the dedicated type of sales person is the product or service that they are selling. They have a deep understanding of the product and stand behind it 100%. With a genuine allegiance to the company for which they work, they continually look for ways to improve sales for that company. Their dedication is then transferred onto the consumer, fostering consumer loyalty to the brand. Dedicated sales people are motivated by problem solving and they believe that the product they are selling provides the needed solution.
The educator has a teaching mentality: they strive to inform the consumer of how and why the product or service can solve a problem. When selling a complex product, they have the ability to distill the information down so that lay consumers can understand and feel confident in making a purchase. These types of sales people allow the product to be the focus of the sales process; they guide the interaction through a detailed explanation of the product or a skilled demonstration of how the product can best meet the needs of the consumer.
Building a working sales engine.
To build an efficient sales engine you need to allocate the right sales people to the right sales role. For example if you put a passive sales person in an outside sales environment you will not be closing as many deals as possible. However put them in an account management or sales support role and they will thrive.
Many sales people are hybrids, however they normally do not normally cross the job role boundaries for example a successful Business Development Manger can be both an educator and a relationship builder but will certainly not be passive. Its all about understanding their strengths and allocating them to an environment that will ensure they are utilised to their full potential.
Matching sales people to sales roles typically follows this template:
Inside Sales - Passive & Relationship Builder.
Outside Sales - Results Driven & Educator
Sales Support - Passive & Dedicated
Client Services - Passive & Relationship Builder.
Lead Generation/Development - Results Driven & Relationship Builder.
Business Development Manager - Results Driven, Relationship Builder & Educator
Account Managers - Passive, Dedicated & Relationship Builder.
At BizDev South we turbocharge your sales engine by getting your Outside Sales & Business Development teams in front of more prospects increasing both revenue and sales pipeline.
Check us out here: www.bizdevsouth.co.uk