What is the job of a sales person today?

what does a sales person do

It used to be clear what a salesperson’s job was. They would go out and hunt down prospects, close deals and then toss them over the wall for the team to turn into money. The salesperson was the alpha – the big game hunter.

But the hunt has gotten more complex. While it’s never been easier to find people who might be prospects. It’s easy to buy mailing lists, Linked In has provided us with a rich source of information on almost any prospect. The rest of social media is a treasure trove to fill in the gaps… But with all this information and access, reaching actual prospects has gotten a lot harder. Where it used to be exciting to get a call from a salesperson (that’s how we found out about new products and services), now it’s just annoying. Our quarry has become better defended against our advances.

Since the days of Glengarry Glen Ross the salesperson’s cry has been “Give me the leads,” if I get in front of them I can close ’em. But I need new ways to get in front of them…

While it’s become hard for us to reach prospects – it’s become easy for prospects to reach us! We are publishing more and more content on our website, blog and social media sites in an attempt to “be found” when prospects are searching for information. Instead of us hunting them down – they want to hunt us! (It’s always more fun to be the hunter than the hunted, right?)

Gathering leads has moved (mostly) from the realm of sales into (mostly) the realm of marketing; but that doesn’t mean that there’s not still an important role for sales people to play. Here’s three ways that sales people still make an impact:

1. Sales people move prospects to action.

You’ve likely done it yourself. You go on a website, your interested in their services. You read their content, maybe download an eBook. Then you drift off into another website. You were interested but for whatever reason you didn’t initiate contact. It’s the job of the salesperson to re-engage you, an move you from a passive searcher to an active buyer. No website can do that – it takes one person talking to another person (for most services).

2. Sales people gather important feedback.

Sales people spend most of their time with prospects. And much of that time they are getting rejected by prospects! The reasons for the rejections are valuable pieces of feedback that the marketers need in order to create better educational content and more compelling offers. Is there something that’s not clear, or something that’s not as interesting as we think it is – we need to know that! Sales people have that information.

3. Sales people adjust our offering to the specific needs of a prospect.

Rarely do we meet the perfect prospect, who’s problems are exactly what our service was designed to solve. Usually the prospects situation is slightly different, requires slight adjustments (or many times just a different emphasis) from the offering on our website. The salesperson is the bridge who can reassure the prospect that their unique situation is actually covered by our standard offering.

Are your sales people crying out for more leads? Are you missing important feedback from your sales people that would sharpen your messages, offers and calls-to-action? I wrote an eBook to address the changing role of sales and marketing. In Sales and Marketing: A Love Story I help you to better understand how each contributes to your business development success, and why they each need the other’s talents!

How has your business development process changed over the last few years? How has the role of your sales people changed?

sales and marketing ebook

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