Great salespeople need more than a desk, a phone, and a computer. Give them real tools and training and start realizing your sales numbers!

It used to be that we hired salespeople, indoctrinated them with product knowledge, and showed them how to fill out timesheets, medical forms, and benefit forms. Then we gave them a smattering of our business culture and the way we sell. Next, we gave them a phone, a list, and a desk and expected them to figure out how to build their territory fast enough and well enough so that they could make the kind of money we promised them.

These new salespeople pounded the pavement or cold called from their phones, and then we wondered why they didn’t bring in the business—after all the training and money we spent on them. Frustrated, most of them left, and we’d start the process again.

Sounds like a set-up for sales failure, right? Good thing times have changed… or have they?

Old-World Sales In a New World

Clients tell me not much has changed except now we give them a desk, a computer, and a password. New salespeople get an office phone, too—which most don’t answer because they are never at their desks. We call their cell phones instead. We give them sophisticated software—Cloud CRM applications, aggregated intelligence, appointment setting, marketing automation, and social media tools—among others. Confusing? You bet.

Do salespeople use the functionality to increase their productivity and accelerate sales? Sometimes. Welcome to the world of confusion and distraction.

They Leave, You Lose

The actual cost of hiring and training a new employee is one and a half times their future yearly salary, plus benefits. There are other costs to consider when a salesperson leaves and must be replaced: Loss of productivity once the salesperson has decided to leave; the cost of recruiting; the possible loss of our competitive insights if they go to our competition; the loss of productivity once the new person comes on board; and loss of sales opportunities and clients while the territory goes uncovered.

Right Tools, Right Results

Give your salespeople the tools and skills they need and reward and recognize results. And watch how many salespeople we keep for the long run. (And you know I believe in referral sales to guarantee your salespeople’s success.)

Your Brave New Sales World: What Works

What’s your winning sales process? The recipe for successful training, tools, and management is as varied as our businesses. What’s your winning “sales secret”?