The Employer's Checklist: Tips for Equipping Your Sales Rep

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BY SONYA MELOFF

While Sales Talent Agency can ensure you find the very best sales people for your organization, even the most talented and driven reps need help to close deals. The better prepared your organization is to help the sales rep, the higher your return on investment will be. Think of your sales rep as a soldier, and you are the general. Sure you can throw that person into a battle and hope they come back alive. But if you give them some decent armor, a good arsenal of weaponry, a well thought out plan of attack, a quality briefing on their opponents strengths and weaknesses, and a feeling that they are part of an army and are not fighting alone, they will help you win the war! Below is a checklist Sales Talent Agency has put together based on the combined Best Practices (and some of the mistakes) of our vast client list. See how your company/division ranks against the very best sales organizations and look for ways to improve. Assign a number (1=bad, 5=great) for each area and start looking for ways to close the gap. Bigger companies can invest heavily in each area, while smaller companies can use creativity and high-effort to address each need.

A well-equipped sales rep has the following:

  1. A compelling and easily explained value proposition: what does your company offer its clients that is unique and helps them meet their goals?

  2. Strong product/service training on each and every component (or category of components) you sell
  3. Sales process/strategy training that aligns with the type of sales approach they will be engaging in
  4. A lead generation strategy (marketing support that helps open doors and gain brand awareness)
  5. A great understanding of your company’s “cost of sale”, implementation limitations and processes, and co-workers roles and responsibilities
  6. Access to “subject matter experts” who can attend meetings/strategize opportunities
  7. An ongoing understanding of the competitive landscape
  8. A strong understanding of what is “low hanging fruit” (what types of businesses are most likely to buy from your company right now?)
  9. Case studies, reference letters and/or testimonials from happy customers
  10. Continuous access to up-to-date company successes and/or new product and service offerings
  11. Well developed and constructed marketing materials (including a strong company website)
  12. Other quality sales reps who are fighting the same battle
  13. A good sales leader to provide 1-on-1 goal setting and review sessions, plan meetings, analyze the sales pipeline, set realistic quotas AND strategize accounts/tactics
  14. A fair playing field: each rep must feel that all rules are thoughtful and enforced evenly
  15. An uncapped commission plan that is both motivating and easy to understand
  16. A sharing of Best Practices of other sales reps, including sales approaches and email/phone/voicemail communications that work
  17. A database of quality responses to frequently asked (or tricky) questions
  18. A good database (CRM) to keep track of their prospects, customers and activities