Sales Executives often have an escape route to point out to when the product does not sell — they quip, “well, it is either the product or the market!” So companies go back to the drawing board and make more changes to the product and their marketing strategy. It normally involves more bells and whistles — more zing and jing! The primary question that needs to be asked of the VP of Sales or a Sales Manager or a Sales Executive, which is often omitted is “How many phone calls were made and how many prospects were found?”
Companies, and in most cases Start-Up companies that are jet fueled and VC Funded often go out bombastically to find the head honcho VP of Sales, pay him (normally him instead of her) a huge salary and expect him to deliver immediately. In my personal experience, these VP’s turn out to be Fine Dining, Golf Playing, Apple polishing morons. Company Sales for the most part remain static, however the ROI on these “Sales Professionals” is nil. Sooner or later the error is realised by folks at the helm and a restructuring plan is put into place. In most cases, this is too little too late. It goes back to fundamentals and what should have been asked before the mess was created – “How many phone calls were made and how many prospects did you get?”
So, how do you hire the right Sales Gun? The interview process is a good place to start . One thing is for sure is that the best Sales people jump into the act as soon as they arrive. It is quite clear that if the Sales Person cannot sell himself at the interview, he really can’t sell your product. For example, if they haven’t done any homework on the product or have any background information on the industry and its evolution, you are not only hiring a green horn, but an absolutely useless green horn.
A good Sales Person will walk into the interview with a general level of understanding about the product, they may not know entirely about the product, but know how to engage other resources (CEO, Engineers, etc.) to give them another level of credibility. They act as a voice for both the client and the company — essentially batting for two teams. The act of selling for professional Sales people is not “dumping” a product on the customer — they perform a needs assessment and guage if the customer needs a product and how it would benefit the company in the long run. A good sales person does not just look for a one time sale, he looks for a long term relationship for the company.
I have been a Sales Engineer in my past life and have been to a few Sales training expos, one of them was quite interesting — it involved Horses. The trick with the Horses is to lead them through every stage — be assertive, still respect the Horse considering that it is definitely a much bigger and more powerful beast that you are, but command a sense of respect and leadership from the Horse itself. Sales is similar — treat your client with respect, be knowledgeable — because more often than not, the client is not just buying a solution, he/ she is buying the solution from you (the Sales Person). So lead the client efficiently and ensure that he/ she walks down the path with you knowing that you are leading it without any ambiguity.
So folks, forget the Golf playing, Fine dining, Apple polishing Sales Personnel — you have been dealing with, your client does not want to waste his/her time on a beautiful summer afternoon with an absolute stranger. You need someone who will convey the right message of your product to your client and at the same time be strong in leadership. Again, it boils down to, “How many calls and how many prospects?” — all we are doing is Dialing for Dollars!
At CATS, with Technology Sales, we can help you find the right people, help you manage your lists, your candidate profiles, resumes and a host of other aspects. With CATS, your HR Woes come to an end!