Yesterday, I wrote about a coffee meeting I had with a dear friend of mine who has been in sales a while. We were joined by a friend of his (we'll call him New Guy) who I didn't know, and when the topic of designing sales teams came up, I went on my usual rant about how you can't ask new business development folks to also do prospect research and ongoing account management. New Guy looked at me like I'd grown an extra head, and exclaimed, "OH MY GOD I WOULD LOVE THAT!"
You see, New Guy works at a company that expects him to not only research all his new leads, but also to prospect them and then manage the relationship (and it's a LONG relationship in his field) while still trying to find and close new prospects. Understandably, he feels pulled in many directions, and like he's not doing his best work at any of them.
And this is exactly what I'm talking about. New Guy is a whiz at prospecting. Just from his conversation with me, I could see that he's a genius at establishing rapport, uncovering needs, getting to the point, and creating value in his conversations. This man should NOT be spending his time on lead gen websites, trying to find new people to talk to, and he should NOT be taking trouble-shooting calls from his clients months and months after the deal is closed. The highest and best use of his time is having conversations with potential new clients and developing those relationships until they are closed sales and ready to be handed off to a dedicated account management team.
I know this is a drum I bang a lot, but I'm going to continue banging it until every sales organization in the world is doing things this way. LET YOUR SALESPEOPLE SELL. Let them pick up the phone, have the meetings, develop the relationships and close the deals. They'll be ECSTATIC, and about 300 percent more effective, if you allow them to do this one thing that they do better than anyone else. And you'll be ecstatic, too, because 300 percent more effective salespeople...close about 300 percent more sales.