That’s right! You deserve more money IF you’re a top producing sales rep (in the top 20% of sales reps in your company).
You also deserve more resources, and respect too.
If you (or they) are already selling tons why should you (or they) deserve more money?
Because it may be more effective supporting (and paying) sales reps who already are successful – instead of trying to raise the skills of the lower 80%.
Also, those top 20%ers are driving your company’s sales success. If they leave for a better offer elsewhere your company is in a tight spot to find equal replacements.
Top Sales Producers Have Many Skills in Many Roles
Let’s face it, selling successfully means succeeding in many roles. There isn’t a single sales activity that guarantees success.
Many skills are needed in many roles. Here are the big ticket ones listed by stage of the sales cycle.
STAGE 1 – Pre-Approach
Before sales reps contact prospects there are a number of roles to be filled. Here are the ones top producers fill, or have when they were starting out:
Strategist – to select the vertical markets, services and geographies that best align with your company’s ability to deliver
Researcher – to quantify vertical markets, identify prospect sources & figure out how to estimate sales sizes
Profiler – to create a target prospect profile based on the strategy and research
STAGE 2 – First Contact
At the first contact with a prospect sales reps must be very good at these key roles:
Greeter – to make friends of strangers (prospects), welcome them to company marketing events and sponsorships
Politician – to meet as many prospects that match the target profile and gain their trust
Telemarketer – to reach out quickly, efficiently and effectively to a large audience of targeted prospects
STAGE 3 – Follow-Up Campaign
The majority of 1st contacts aren’t sales, so top producers use follow-up campaigns to be there when prospects are ready to buy. These are the key roles needed for this stage:
Marketer – to select, design and produce outreach efforts for the rep individually, rather than waiting for a company effort (see inbound and outbound marketing )
Educator – to help prospects learn how the service they buy impacts their business, postively and/or negatively
Promoter – to participate in trade associations, volunteering to charities, all to get the company and rep’s name out there
STAGE 4 – Proposal Opportunity
The moment of truth comes when reps get the opportunity to develop a proposal for a customer. The rep’s roles for this stage include:
Investigator – to dig out the real truth behind what prospects are willing to say
Consultant – to understand prospects’ situation and then design a solution to solve it
Writer – to create the written document that captures the insights gained through investigation and persuasively present the consultative solution
STAGE 5 – Presentation Opportunity
After the the proposal has been submitted, reps now must take on additional roles to do the face-to-face presentation. Here are those roles:
Presenter – to be the leader of the in-person sales presentation
Facilitator – to rehearse and facilitate members of the sales team with their designated topics
Negotiator – to be the go-between person between the prospect and your company finalizing pricing and contracts
What To Do IF…
#1) You are in the Top 20%
You deserve more; money, support and respect. Ask for it. You have the numbers to justify it.
#2) You are in the Bottom 80%
Work at getting better. It’s your career, either at your current company, or at the next one that will hire you.
Get busy learning:
- Seek out sales training (click here to see how I can help)
- Shadow a top 20%er & learn their tips, tricks & secrets
- Use a coach or mentor: pester them with questions (click here to see how I can help)
- Read, get smarter. Here are some of my favorites (I’m an Amazon affiliate):
#3) You are the only Sales Rep
You can assume you’d be in the top 20% of a like company and ask for more, or not ask. Or you can improve yourself by doing the same things as #2 above.
#4) You are the Sales Manager
First, increase your support (and compensation) to your top 20%ers – you don’t really want to lose them, do you? So where it’s practical, provide them the:
- Sales sheets, brochures, etc. they ask for
- Administrative help in filling out reports, printing proposals, etc.
- Marketing & promotion projects they come up with
Second, create a hiring profile from the roles and skill sets mentioned above. Now you can interview and hire to that profile. You’ll be glad you did.
It ain't bragging if you can do it... Dizzy Dean, American Baseball, Hall of Fame Pitcher.
If you’re good ask for more. If you have very good sales reps, keep them. If you’re not as good as you could be, get there, or look for somewhere else.