As a sales rep, you get handed a lot of hats: Customer service (the client calls you for everything long after the sale is made), Unloading the truck (because you aren’t doing anything else, right?), Collections, PR, Receptionist, and the list goes on. But here is the insider secret - You only have one job! Just one.
Your job as a sales rep is to increase revenue for your company. That’s it. Every activity you perform is, or should be, centered on that fact. It is that simple and that hard. NO ONE else in the company contributes to the top line. Granted, they contribute in a lot of other ways and if they didn’t, you’d have nothing to sell. But even so, you are the only one that actually puts money in the bank and that makes you invaluable to your company. If you let somebody move you off of that task, then you are doing a disservice to yourself as well as to your organization.
So let's take a quick look at the three ways that you actually can achieve your job as a salesperson:
- Begin Conversations. Of all of the activities you do as a salesperson, this is the most important. Beginning conversations doesn't mean you wait on marketing to bring you a lead. You don't sit and wait on someone to fill out a form on a website, and you don't wait on them to walk through the front door. You have to be proactive and find a way to begin to engage potential clients in a selling conversation. Whether that means picking up the phone, or sending an email, or reaching out to them on LinkedIn, you hunt for opportunities for your company’s services. The keyword here is proactive, and the most effective tool is your phone. Pick up the phone.
- Build Relationships. Every conversation you begin will not lead to an immediate sale. But it will likely lead to a sale eventually--especially if you keep the conversation going. So you must continue to build a relationship with people who are decision-makers in the client base that you serve. This takes a consistent effort; marketing automation can be a huge help here and keeping the conversation moving forward and keeping your name in front of a prospect without occupying a lot of your time. At ClearBox, we like to use HubSpot to automate a lot of our marketing. The software keeps track of client activity and it signals you when they begin to move into a buying process. When they are ready, you will be ready to continue the conversation and help them make a favorable decision for your company.
- Ask for Business. This seems like it would be obvious but you would be amazed at how many salespeople will make a beautiful presentation, deliver a quality proposal, and then never actually ask the customer to buy. Old school sales wisdom says to always be closing, but I don't believe that is really the best tactic to take in 2020. However, you do still ultimately have to ask them to commit to doing business with you. If you have done everything else right in developing the relationship and providing a relevant solution to their particular problem, placing the order should be a foregone conclusion. Do yourself and your prospect a favor and ask them to commit to move forward.
So there you have it: the simplest and the hardest job in the company. But remember...you still just have one job--do it well.