New sales gig: Expect nothing

Here’s a planning tool for you, if you’re considering a new sales job.

You’ll get nothing. Nada. Zip. Nout.

That’s what will be prepared for you when you start your gig.

Here are some things that you will need to be successful in your selling and won’t be waiting for you:

  1. Leads

  2. Relationships

  3. A clean CRM database

  4. Marketing support

  5. Case studies

  6. A clear value proposition

  7. A list of trigger events that cause your prospect to buy

  8. Marketing material that really fits your sales process

  9. A proven sales process

  10. Time

1. Leads

Why would we hire you if we had a bunch of leads? Generating leads is the job of the sales person. You “eat what you kill” so better get hunting, tiger.

2. Relationships

You’ve got the “Golden Rolodex”, right? Why would we hire you if we had enough great relationships? Sure our CEO has relationships but we’ve used those already.

3. A clean CRM

Yes, we have thousands of contacts in our “customer” database. Several former sales people threw stuff in there. Not well-organized, really?

4. Marketing support

Speaking as a marketing manager, I’m working on 20 projects. I’m stretched out. We got a new rep? Cool. What can I do about it? I’ll try but all the other reps already need so much help.

5. Case studies

Well we have lots of happy customers. Our product is so awesome but our marketing department has never gotten around to writing up all our successes (see #4). I think we have one or two pieces somewhere. We’ll find them some time.

6. A clear value proposition

Hey we know what our product does. You’re saying that’s not clear to our prospects. It’s not in their language? I don’t know what you mean. You better figure it out.

 7. A list of trigger events

What’s a “trigger event”? We don’t have a list of those as we’ve never even heard of them. You better figure this out–whatever it is.

8. Marketing material that really fits the sales process

Hey we have marketing material. What do you mean it’s not written to the prospect’s needs? I guess you can come up with some additional stuff if you need it. I’m not sure who should review what you write before you use it. Obviously we can’t have sales people writing stuff and sending it to prospects without it being approved. Could take a while but don’t worry.

9. A proven sales process

A sales process? Sales people just know how to sell, right? Why would we hire you if you need us to tell you how to sell? When we interviewed you you told us you could sell. What’s up here?

10. Time

So what if we don’t have all that stuff. We need to get sales in here quickly. Time is critical. We’re paying you the big bucks. We desperately need sales (you should see our cash flow statement–but we’re not going to show you that!) Make it happen! That’s why we hired you.

By the way, I’m reading a new book by Jill Konrath that will help you with some of the above. It’s called Agile Selling and it has some great information for ramping up in a new sales position.

I think I get to write a review of it in a couple of weeks when it’s launched. Meanwhile check out Jill’s information page here.

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