Having a sound knowledge of the product, smart communication skills and familiarity with commercial activities of the company are essential attributes of the sales people whether on field or online. However, a majority of fleet managers do not know in which direction their sales team is devoting time. A decade-long research on the evaluation of sales activities across the 4 continents in the different markets and industries has shown that there is a sea of difference between how fleet managers feel and how their sales team operate actually. The implication of this proves to be disastrous and land a company in a deep trouble. Myopic views cloud your vision and the false assumptions hamper your judgment hence your whole strategy goes haywire.
Outlined here are a few biggest myths about the on-field/online sales staff that can help them zero on the problems which are bringing down their sales and better understand their team.
#Myth 1: Good decision and smart strategies are taken only when data is gathered on averages.
This is one hell of a risky task as you cannot take out the real picture of how your sales are operating. There are bright chances of discrepancies between the sales data and individual. Say for an example the number of contacts can vary from 10 visits to 80 and depend on the averages of these cannot help you paint a real picture of how your sales up to.
Good decisions are actually based on keeping tabs on individual data of the sales activities. For this purpose Histograms are useful.
#Myth 2: All the sales team member should be treated in the same manner. This will give the impression of yours being unbiased and the team efforts would increase.
Every individual has a different set of skills, attributes, and proficiency and so your team members also have. Being a fleet manager you need to explore their individual expertise before you allocate them an assignment. Ask them what they are comfortable doing and which locality they would prefer going. This will make them perform optimally as they get to do what they are best in doing. According to their comfort zone assign them tasks and at the end of the day you would end up seeing the best results.
#Myth 3: If sales team is highly persuasive they can close deals.
This myth held some water till the time buyers do not have access to the Internet. In the era where a sea of information is available to the people, your prospects already know about your business before they by your sales team member. So, before sales team member gets in touch with them they have made a sort of partial decision on buying. Henceforth a great salesperson is one who could determine whether the prospect exactly needs what he is selling and able to focus the points on which his product has an edge over other similar products in the market.
#Myth 4: If the sales strategy is good it would work at any cost and everywhere.
Surprising it may seem though but this is not true. A majority of firms do not take into account the difference between the prevalent market. What may work for the emerging markets may or may not work for the developed markets. They ignore the fact that the countries within the groups can differ vastly. The same industry in different markets tends to function differently. For instance, the success rate of consumer goods industry in Asia is much lower when compared to the other markets.
It is good to know the differences between the markets and also to know the underlying reasons. Say for example if the success rate of your product is low in the certain market then why is it so. When you delve into the causes behind the failures in any particular market the success rate would be higher.
#Myths 5: 90% of the time is devoted to selling by the sales team.
Most of the managers seem to be convinced by this. But in actuality, they spend about 25%-37% of their time only. They do research, prepare the database of the client, they follow up and they spend only 9%-20% of their time on an individual client. They should have an absolutely clear vision of what you expect from them so that they can make most of their time and be more productive.
(Others specifies training, traveling etc.)
In the extremely competitive market where everyone is in the race to put his best foot forward in boosting sales, knowing your sales team better would enable you to extract their best performance and help you avoid sales mistakes. Whether on-field on or off-field, the better you track them the more they would be efficient and productive. Sales are the foundation of business success and hence no wonder why you pay an extra heed to it. Clearing the myths related to the sales team helps you excel.
Find out how you can make your sales team perform here: how a sales tracking app can help your team perform better.