Sales stopper!

Sales Stopper

Sales stopper!

If you’re in Sales and at a job interview, ask your prospective sales manager these questions. Or, if you’re the CEO or Sales Director, think about how you’d answer these questions. And, depending on your answer, what’s going through the candidate’s head?

1. Tell me about how your brand supports my sales efforts?

What are the brand values? What is the brand promise? Explain to me in one short sentence what this business is all about (brand positioning)? How do we differentiate from our competitors? When our customers think of us, what are the three or four “things” that spring to mind?

If your sales director starts waffling about “quality… great service… industry leaders,” run a mile because that’s what everybody says – you can’t make a living selling what everybody else is selling. And if you don’t know who you are, how can you expect the market to figure it out?!

2. How does the website support our sales effort?

Does the website reflect our brand? Does the glory of our 50-year old history take up more space than what we’ve done lately? Does the MD’s wife love it… or does it connect with our market? Is our offer and uniqueness crystal clear? Is the website up to date? Where are we on the search engine rankings? How are we keeping (or getting it) up there? How many unique visitors are we getting each day? Why aren’t they ordering from us or contacting us? What’s the bounce rate?

If that website is a dinosaur that looks like somebody’s geek nephew knocked it together using some cheapo software, get out of there fast – don’t even stop to pick up your old sales detailer! They have no respect for their brand, they are completely out of touch with the world and you’ll probably find that there’s been no innovation or product development in the company for the last 30 years.

3. How will you help me to stay in touch with and close to my customers?

Is there a social media strategy? If so, what’s the plan to keep people interested – or did we just whack it up? Who is monitoring it? Is there a newsletter that we send out regularly – what’s the purpose, what’s the plan? Are we using our everyday emails as a platform for carrying “free” communications and messaging? How will you help me to extract more business from my existing base while I’m out there on the road?

Well, most are still a little shaky when it comes to social media so don’t be too hard on the boss. But, if she says: “Yes, my daughter does it all the time – I’d like to try it too” then start edging towards the exit. Or, as there seems to be some genuine desire to join the world of interactive communications, maybe stick around and ease the immigrant into the new world!

Take advantage of Sherpa’s experience in sales management and our expertise in interactive communications – we’ll help you to develop a fully integrated and interactive strategy to give your sales team the type of support that they need and deserve.

Gary Hendrickse
CEO, Sherpa Business Communications
March 2011

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