Make your sales team an elite sales force
Realize that the only time you really waste time and money is when you allow low producing salespeople (typically people who are not a fit for sales, people who don’t like your company, or people who have the wrong attitude) to be a part of your organization. The best way to avoid that scenario is to make sure the people who are in the sales role have been thoroughly trained and are the people who really want to be there.
Having an intense training period is the same approach used by colleges and the military. For example, for every 100 men who start Navy SEAL training, only 17-20 succeed. That’s a success rate of only 17% to 20%! But think about it…who do you want carrying out the country’s most dangerous and most critical military missions? Only the best of the best, right? Well, who do you want being the face of your company, representing your products or services, and interacting daily with your clients? Again, only the best of the best will do.
Your intense training program should cover the following key things:
- Product knowledge – Go over your products or services thoroughly to ensure the prospective salesperson comprehends them inside and out.
- Role-playing – Go over typical sales scenarios as well as the most challenging sales situations you can think of. See how the person responds when things go wrong.
- Sales skills – Even if the person has prior sales experience, you want to give them all the skills and training they’d need to be successful, and then make sure they know how to implement the skills.
- Company structure – Teach them all the parts of the business. Train them on every department so they know the intricacies of the business and understand what happens both before and after the sale is made.
- Research – Put them through the tedious information gathering work. Make them research the market, demographics, competition, etc. If they’re not willing to do the details, then they’re not a fit your company.
This intense process will weed out the people who don’t have what it takes to be part of an elite team. In fact, about 20% of the people will drop out by week four. For the ones remaining at the four-week mark, offer them a choice to stay or go, as in: “I’ll give you $1,000 right now for you to leave the training and the company, or you can elect not to take the money and stay.” Those who take the money aren’t the type of people you want on your elite team. It’s better to pay a small price now to find that out than waste a lot of money down the road with a bad hire.