Do You Have the Right Sales Rep?

During channel manager training, there is emphasis on alignment. When hiring sales reps, managers need to ensure alignment as well.

There are different types of sales reps: transactional, whale hunters, farmers, inside, field, BD and SDR. The reason that a job description is important is that it requires the manager to think about what they actually need and who they want to hire. Too often managers lazily Google search a job description and copy/paste. That doesn’t work.

Yesterday I received a call from a sales rep. He was sent my blog posts. He has been in his current position for 5 months with no success. That made me wonder: (a) what is his manager doing? and (b) what kind of management do they have over there?

He has to make 50 calls, send 50 emails and 3 handshakes per day. He thought that was far-fetched.

The disconnect is that for over 20 years he was working for a cellular company. Cellular can be sold to anyone. There isn’t a territory. And people change cell phone providers often as well. The market is dynamic.

Now after 20+ years as a transactional sales rep with short sales cycles and a large pool of prospects, he is working for a fiber ISP. Now the prospects are limited to where the fiber goes. This isn’t a transactional sales for Lit Buildings. It is a relationship business.

Connecting with property managers is a part of that sale.

After 30 minutes of giving him ideas from my sales trainings, he seemed dejected that I didn’t have a silver bullet. There isn’t a silver bullet in sales. It is about daily activity, relationship building, time management, and  learning about the customers and how they interact with the products.

I have coached a number of ISP sales teams. It is challenging when they are like Cogent: you can only sell in the Lit Buildings. But I wrote a whole book on the strategy and tactics around selling to LIT Buildings HERE.

A disconnect he is experiencing is that these are quick sales to anyone, but longer sales to a very specific prospect pool. And with little success in five months, he is frustrated. Come to the realization that this is a different kind of sale. A different buyer, sales process, and sales cycle and recalibrate for it – or look here.

The hiring manager didn’t do him any favors. You have to align skills and motivation with the position.

The manager should be coaching him up and helping him daily to get with the program.

There has kind of been a disservice to the company and the sales rep here, but nothing that a course correction can’t fix!

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