Over the past few months it has become noticeable that sales people are feeling the increased pressure of the current economic climate. I’ve seen the increased amount of sales training we’re delivering to two specific groups in particular; firstly people who are new to sales and secondly more experienced sales people who are, frankly, struggling to compete in a contracting market.
The first group who are new to sales, seem to be those who were in customer service roles or similar; order takers, account managers, technical specifiers and project managers. All of whom are now being expected, and in some cases targeted, to ‘sell’ their products and services. They are expected to maximise their existing customer relationships and to create new business opportunities as well.
The more experienced sales people have now come to realise that they were, up until recently, ‘farmers’ reaping the harvest of good economic times, often having the pick and choice of the crop. They are now expected to become ‘hunters’, to proactively seek and win new business ahead of their competitors. They now have to refine their skills further and look for new and stimulating ways to engage with their customer base.
In both groups, the pressure they are under is very real and needs to be addressed. Both groups need the opportunity to extend and hone their existing skills to new levels and also to explore new techniques necessary to stay ahead of the game and alleviate some of the pressure.