I was meeting with a training customer today and we were talking about the need to find another new and successful salesperson. The business is currently medium size and successful in its market segment and product. They do however require expansion and growth. They need a new person to do that. Timing and selection of the best person for the sales role was of some focus.
Currently the other sales person in the team was highly successful; that success was largely due to market awareness and the maturity of the team member. He had been in the industry for some years and at the age of 62 he was well known as the specialist in his field. Clients and customers were attracted to him because they trusted him. He had no intention of retiring anytime soon so he had a lot of ongoing value he could offer to the business.
There is a massive opportunity here for the new salesperson to learn from the established person. Maturity in sales is a good thing. They say that the really good salespeople ‘live and breathe’ the process of client contact and service. This was well evidenced in this business. Sales can be regarded as a true profession for the best in any industry.
So what is the recommendation? Try these for starters:
- Have the new salesperson work with the older established person for 3 to 6 months. During that time there will be the opportunity for learning and growth. The new salesperson can learn the market and the client base from the other salesperson.
- Break the skills of the older salesperson up into core attributes to be developed in the newer person.
- Start a training program in skill development.
- Role play in the small sales team on a weekly basis
- Have the new team member visit clients with the older team member to see how the relationships and customer service connections work in the group.
It’s all common sense really. You can do the same. Look at your resources currently and decide how the strengths of the team can be shared.