You have all heard the phrase, “Sooner or later a blind squirrel finds a nut” and we are all amused (or pretend to be anyway). I ask you, when have you ever seen a blind squirrel find a nut? For that matter, when have you ever seen a blind squirrel? Chances are slim to none. And why is that? Because blind squirrels die in the wild. And yet, we send our blind squirrels into the wild in the form of new salespeople figuring that sooner or later they are bound to bump into a sale. But what is true in nature is also true in sales. Blind squirrels die in the wild and ill-equipped untrained salespeople die in the field. Unlike the blind squirrel, this doesn’t have to be so for the salesperson. The question is, why is the squirrel blind, and whose fault is it?
If we want salespeople to be successful, then a partnership must be created in order to achieve that success. Almost all salespeople early in their careers need help whether they admit it or not. They want to find the acorn, in fact they want to find lots of acorns, but only a few are true naturals when it comes to sales. The rest of us have to work hard at our craft. So, instead of having a bunch of blind squirrels running around representing your company, products and services, here are a few key things you can do to help make them successful.
- Give them training – There are so many training platforms available that it’s hard to imagine an untrained salesperson, and yet the world is full of them. They are responsible for your revenue so make the investment.
- Give them process – What are the best practices for success in sales with your organization. Prevent salespeople from reinventing the wheel if you can help it.
- Give them goals – Sales people without goals will wander around aimlessly. How will you know if they are being successful and, more importantly, how will they know if they are being successful. The sooner you have goals, the sooner you will get results.
- Give them KPIs – What are the most important 3 things that your salesperson should do that is strongly linked to success? Is it meetings, phone calls, demonstrations, quotes? This is just as important as goals for the same reasons.
- Give them coaching – Coaching and managing are not the same thing. Coaching provides valuable skills, feedback and learning for the salesperson. Help them work through their issues and celebrate their victories.