In grammar school you learned the 3 R’s of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. If you’ve been to sales school 101 you’ve also followed the 3 R’s – Role play, Ride-along, and Reports. How many sales representatives new or seasoned have ever heard one of these words and thought – I can’t wait! No any of these tasks bring feelings of anxiety, preparing scenarios in your mind. How do you practice honing your craft and learning your contact then by role plays? You are sitting in the meeting where role play is going to take place and you are waiting for the role play roulette where you are either going to be assigned Mr. Customer or Joe Sales rep. Everyone wants to be Mr. Customer because you can demonstrate some of the challenging situations real life customers have put you in. Being on the end of the sales side of the role play is a great opportunity. If you know your product well then show what you know. If you are new and still learning your product or service be genuine. If you use a canned response or sound scripted in the role play you will sound the same way to prospects on the phone or on sales calls. As difficult as it might be accepting the constructive criticism and use what works for you.
Ride alongs can be stressful. If you are a road warrior someone is invading your space. First of all, if you have 6 Starbucks cups, water bottles and empty snack wrappers you may want to clean out your car. Be organized with your visits, your marketing materials. Research your prospect/client before the visit. Spend the time before your ride along with your boss to prepare information on scenarios you may encounter. Use the time to your advantage you have a captive audience. If you have a situation with a customer that needs someone with more experience or information this is a great time to bring it up.
Lastly, reporting or the dreaded CRM. Use the system that works for you. Reporting is as good as the information that is put into it. If you pad your report it will come back to you generally at month end with a lot of explaining about why you didn’t close that big deal that would get you to quota or bonus. I’ve found utilizing these programs to determine what you need to have in your sales funnel to be successful. I’ve also always been very conservative in dollar amounts I use; some sales managers would call it sand bagging. I don’t believe in sand bagging I just believe that it’s better to under promise and over deliver. Use your database to your advantage, don’t make the database your daily crutch or your daily afterthought. Use it to track follow ups and look at the success you have had and determine how to focus on how to find more successful clients.