Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How You Can Recruit Sales Super Stars - Part 2 - How to Recognise Sales Sheep and Wolves

Following on from my previous article which identified the traits of great sales people, and showing that poor performers don't have them!Ultimately it comes down to recruiting the right salesman to take the company to the next level - and tied to good marketing too of course. With a great salesman good marketing is even more effective.Broadly you can break salesmen into sales sheep, sales wolves and sales super stars.Sales SheepThey wait for customer to come to them, or the phone to ring to take an order.Or they wait in a shop and sell purely because the customer wants to buy something from anyone who wants to take their money.They think the customer is always right even if it means that they'll lose money on an issue that the customer created themselves. Or they'll give the customer some stock they had lying around.What about the salesman who drops by and entertains their contacts to "touch base", "to see if there's anything for me today" and who "nearly gets a sales but doesn't quite?"Sales sheep cost you money. Let's count the ways:
Their basic pay to sales ratio is higher than yours, or other sales staff
They give stuff away as sweeteners, or to get out of a problem
They entertain prospects and don't convert them
They entertain people at the clients who are not remotely connected to the sale process
They don't follow-up and lose sales to competitors who do
How do you recognise one? There is a way before you even recruit them...Sales WolvesThey're so enthusiastic and raring to go. However, beware!They almost run out of your door and can't wait to close a sale. They're so keen they can make people buy your products and services even though they may be wrong for those customers.They know what you sell and try to sell it all to every customer, whether there's a need for it or not. They're equally upfront in-house anything that affects their sale, and often their commission, is bulldozed out of the way to make sure that sale gets done. Sometimes it's pushed through to the detriment of other customers or sales people.Sales wolves cost you money. Let's see how:
They sell lots but you get a higher returns rate
You get more external complaints, affecting your reputation and therefore referrals
You get more internal complaints and lose staff or morale drops
You lose sales by them tying up staff that other sales people need
They don't want to know about customer issues after a sale. They're too busy on the next sale

How do you recognise one? There is a way before you recruit them...Sales SuperstarsA good salesman gets in more business than he costs you to run and make your company more money than that. A bad salesman is a drain on your company. It can be almost impossible to sort the good from the bad.Almost, but not impossible.When you recruit a salesman you need to aim for the star salesman. Don't be put off because you think can't afford them.The star salesman psychological profile is formed during their early childhood and you may catch one before they realise they're great. Or you may find one who was burnt out and is ready to rejoin the fray.Either one doesn't require vast amounts of money. Remember even if you paid them 5 times what you pay yourself and they brought in 20 times more in profit would their salary even matter?The Drive Behind Sales Super StarsThe 3 Types of Sales StaffAccording to psychological research a super star salesman is driven by two factors: ego and empathy. Finding those with the right mix of both can be challenging - but ultimately very rewarding for your company.Too much ego and they get the sales but at a huge cost to you in terms of customer and internal relationships bruised or destroyed by the ego-driven salesman. These are the types of salespeople I've called the Sales Wolf, they'll do almost anything for their commission.The type of salesman I've called the Sales Sheep has way too much empathy and they end up discounting so deeply and being so completely on their customer's side that you'll lose money on deals that would normally be profitable.Now you know how to tell sales sheep from sales wolves you want to find out how to get sales superstars. Check the next article in this series.

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