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How to Specialize Your Sales Force to Meet Company Objectives

how-staffing-agencies-recruit-for-sales-positionsCompanies emphasizing growth and specific business initiatives often find it appropriate to segment sales activities beyond recognizing the four broad segments of customers. Extensive Chally research of more specialized sales forces has identified 14 specific sets of sales and service skills that are required to succeed in specialized sales roles. The sales specialist “map” below demonstrates a decision tree that allows a sales executive to identify the one unique profile best suited to accomplish a specialized sales initiative.

A series of no more than five questions will lead to the best match

Questions:
  • Is this position field (outside) sales or inside (tele) sales?
  • Is the position proactive (outbound tele or direct sales contact) or reactive (inbound tele or indirect field sales through a distributor) or primarily customer service?
  • Is the position primarily responsible for a full line or a specialized product or service?
  • Is the sales effort account based (strategic or major accounts) or geographically based (territory sales)?
  • Is the salesperson’s responsibility primarily to acquire new accounts (hunter) or maintain and grow existing accounts (farmer)?

Sales Specialty Map

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Roles and Requirements of Specialized Sales Positions

Indirect Sales (via distributors or resellers) Acquires skills at training cus­tomers (on sales and programs), making joint sales calls, sales motivational and presenta­tion techniques, product knowledge, and the ability to maintain repeat sales

Strategic Account Manager Strategic relationships are built with major customers through initiative, a willingness to work long hours, proactive assistance and support, a willingness to further develop technical competence, and an emphasis on sharing information that is pertinent and will have lasting educational impact

New Business Development (Hunter) Demands individuals who can develop leads, find opportunities, pene­trate prospects and customers, and be willing to put in long hours as well as problem solve and close

Account Management (Farmer) Requires excellent customer rela­tions skills focused on working internal systems on the customer’s behalf, and effec­tiveness at explaining and clarifying issues to the customer; this is driven by the desire to increase business and the ability to work long hours when necessary to accomplish that

Territory Consultative Product Sales Focuses on establishing a credible image, developing new business through effective qualifying and presentation skills driven by the motivation to be an effective consultant

Territory Relationship Product Sales Calls for a disciplined and systematic approach to goal achievement and a focused response to customer needs in a service capacity, as well as effective communication skills and the ability to work a sales plan in account penetration; removes objections and gives permission to buy

Territory Consultative System Sales Demands the skill to develop business through effective lead generation, qualification of profitable prospects, and tailored presentations; willing to work long hours to meet objectives, sets ambitious goals and achieves them through effective selling, and understands sales strategies and tactics

Territory Relationship System Sales Adapts image to accommodate customers, gives personal attention, and takes hands-on responsibility for assuring continued customer satisfaction; knowledgeable of sales strategies and pushes to set personal records in sales; comfortable with the recognition of a high-profile role

System Specialist Focuses on assum­ing the leadership to learn customer needs and goals, stays continuously aware of the market and spends the long hours it takes to influence and train others

Product / Service Specialist Customers look for individuals who provide reliable information, learn their business, know the market, and communicate effec­tively while remaining dedicated to their own sales results
Product / Transactional Specialist Demands initiative and perseverance to develop leads, qualify, and close on an ongo­ing basis
Outbound Telesales Takes the initiative to present benefits and answer objections in order to grow the business; willing to learn the products and services; can persevere for as long as necessary to succeed

Inbound Telesales Requires an image conscious vocal demeanor in a service oriented individual who is interested in learn­ing the customer’s needs, solving problems, and making the appropriate (and profitable) recom­mendations

Customer Service Representative Calls for a focused commitment to take personal responsibility for satisfying all customers, regardless of their attitude or style; solutions must be intelligently thought out, often quickly, and presented with a positive attitude

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