Is your sales team working?

Although the role of personal selling varies by business and industry, the nature of it is one of the oldest functions of marketing communication. For most organizations, personal selling can be one of the most important methods of new business development.

Personal selling complements other marketing communication functions, such as advertising and public relations, by customizing messages for a specific customer. A sales person might uncover specific wants and needs from a client or prospect, clarify any misunderstandings, and share how your products and services can make their job – or lives – better.

The personal selling process is important for every sales team. Having a process that is specific and measurable is key to making the best use of time and money. Your process, for example, might include generating and qualifying referrals and leads, making the sales call, handling objections and providing alternatives, and closing and following-up with a sale.

A specific sales plan with goals, strategies, and units of measurements will help direct your sales team and keep everyone one focused.

Does your sales team know and understand the company goals? How do their goals merge and interact with the company? Do they know how they are being measured? Do they have incentives for going after, and winning over, the high-dollar or high-volume customer?

When it comes to generating and qualifying leads in personal selling, the value of an integrated marketing communications program is quickly realized. Depending on your industry, and budget, adverting, direct mail, sales promotions, public relations, and Internet marketing initiatives all provide a valuable vehicle for generating interest and data on prospects.

In the high-cost, high-impact role of personal selling, a strong sales team could be one of the most important methods of generating new business for your company. How well does your sales team perform?

Integration of your marketing program with your sales program is crucial. If you have a sales team of five or more individuals, I would love to talk with you to see what could be done differently in 2013 for a stronger performance throughout the year.