No one wants to work with someone who’s “salesy.” And why is it that all sales professionals are prematurely compared to used car salesmen?
Sales or business development professionals are vital to an organization’s success. Without someone finding new people or companies for your business, revenue, growth and success are limited.
Even if you don’t work in sales, you should care about the salespeople in your organization. (Click here to tweet this thought.) They may decide the fate of your work experience. If they bring in strong, creative, easy-to-please, collaborative clients, your job will reflect this. If you’re happy, you’re more likely to stay at a company longer, which can increase team consistency and morale.
On the flip side, sales professionals need to trust that their team will work on client accounts after the sale. After spending so much time and effort on building successful relationships, they need to know their sales contract will be long-lasting and their clients will be in good hands. And high customer retention rates, happy customers and continued revenue streams all provide for their own career growth.
Any good salesperson will find it impossible to sell a product/service they don’t believe in. Any business that offers a service relies on people to execute well, articulate their efforts, and meet deadlines. Therefore, a salesperson has to have trust in the people that actually execute on their services in order to sell it. — Lyndsey Kramer, Director of Business Development at Digital Third Coast
What can a salesperson do to trust their team for a successful client handoff? Lyndsey suggests:
1. Communicate openly
The best thing a salesperson can do is understand the capabilities and limitations of their executing teams and never oversell or over-promise what they can do. Having a solid understanding of your team and the work they do makes setting expectations upfront easier, so the process is better for all parties involved.
2. Address concerns before they become problems
If a salesperson sees red flags with a prospect during the sales process (lack of time to collaborate, lack of understanding, difficulty reaching) they need to be addressed prior to handing it off to the person or people performing the work at hand.
If the concerns can’t be addressed, a salesperson needs to walk away from the business opportunity. Signing clients who’ll end up causing problems, stressing out your team and ultimately firing you for not delivering what they wanted aren’t worth the time and energy — or the lack in faith your team will have about your work.
3. Know your team is always right
Any time a client has expectations a service team doesn’t feel are fair, a salesperson can step in on behalf of the team to realign expectations. If you want your team to trust you and respect you, you have to trust and respect them. This means they’re always right, not the client. Having your team’s back means they’ll have yours too.
How can you build trust with your salesperson?
1. Get to know their sales process
Make sure your salesperson has a full understanding of the work you do and describes the scope accurately to clients. If you notice gaps in the sales process that are inconsistent with your role, suggest ways to improve sales presentations.
2. Create team building opportunities
Attend company social events or lunches, or meet with your salesperson or team on your own. Learn about where and how they sell, and share pain points and strong points of your role.
3. Send leads their way
If you meet a strong potential client you might enjoy working with, introduce them. Being resourceful for your sales team may benefit them by expanding their network, helping them build a broader client base, providing referred clients or qualified leads makes their job easier and may even result in monetary rewards.
Helping out a team member can only be a win-win. And your reward will be happy clients you hand-picked.
The next time you walk by your sales team at the office, think about those who may determine what’s on tomorrow’s to-do list.
Rebecca Otis, the Content/Social Media Manager at Chicago digital marketing agency Digital Third Coast, founded a small business marketing consultancy at the age of 26, was named an Austin Business Journal Women of Influence Profiles in Power Rising Star Finalist in 2012 and speaks for national organizations HP Catalyst and BlogHer. Connect with Rebecca on her site, Google+ and @RebeccaOtis.