Managing Poor Sales People|You Need A Process|Sales Management

It’s a Saturday morning here in West Sussex and I do not usually like blog post’s on a Saturday, but to celebrate the “light that went on” I have decided to give you  a little lesson in Sales Management and Training, ok probably not a lesson but a snippet.

This little story relates to my experience in the 02 shop in Crawley and a Customer Service Assistant – Martin. That’s his real name if you any of you pop in there will see him, affable looking bloke. Short Hair, Glasses. This story should be lesson for any of you running any form of sales team of managing staff of any age, race or creed.

I have been an 02 customer – you might remember them as Cellnet. Since 1984 yup I was an early adopter. In 2001 as my mobile phone usage went down I switched to a Pay & Go contract – and usage has remained pretty constant. Both of my businesses use 02 Broadband and my Wife and Children have 02 Mobiles. Current spend is about £60 per month. In recent months my Mobile Call usage has increased  – back to a contract phone with some ‘free minutes’ had decided on an IPHONE for many reasons.

Timing was perfect as the Sim Card on my existing phone was playing up – of to the O2 shop we go.

The snippet in this post is this, you may not have noticed but in recent years the World has changed. Many traditional sales methods and processes should have been adapted or altered and for many firms they have not. Before you move forward through this post please understand this if you think the same stuff you have been doing for the last millennia are going to work moving forward you are in for a surprise. A BIG surprise 1 Billion Chinese are going to make sure of that, if nothing else happens.

So what happened, walk into the 02 shop, 3 staff, 2 engaged in a deep conversation both refusing to make eye contact, one Martin walks towards me. Yes?

I need a replacement Sim. However am thinking about upgrading to a contract phone, perhaps you can help.

His body language was clearly telling me he could not be bothered, and he immediately walked away from me, over to his desk and sat down.

By now I was 15 feet away. “Your Number” he shouted. So I tell him.

He types it in to his computer and gestures to me to sit down. No thanks I advise.

After a few seconds he advises that I cannot have an upgrade as  I have used my ‘upgrade credit’. No sure where this was going, I asked “so you will not let me have a new phone”? Clearly we were at cross purposes. His body language and overall demeanour was, well surly. You know what I mean.

I explained again that I needed a replacement sim as a minimum, and that I was thinking about a New Phone. No response, thing is by this time I was a little pissed off to say the least.

Martin got up from his desk, walked through the door at the back of the store and returned with a new sim card. Printed a slip of from the till and handed it to me, he also passed me a Landline Handset and said I needed to call customer services to make the new card live.

At this stage I think Martin realised he was not going to make a sale, however, thought not to ask any more questions despite the fact that I had a £200 (odd) plus £35 per month 2 year contact  IPHONE in my hand.

I placed the IPHONE back in it’s cradle and explained that 02 Customer Services advised me to come in and the store would sort it all out for me. Only they did not expect MARTIN to be working on Saturday morning. He went onto explain that the store was too busy (only 3 staff, no customers and two of the staff were still heavily involved in a conversation) for them to do it.

Fine, no problem.

For those of you with businesses you will be aware that Sales Staff like this surround us in massive numbers ,and if you are a Sales Manager the lowest common denominator is Martin.

This story ends with me walking from the store, sim in hand over the Vodafone store, leaving there with a £75 per month contract, a new IPHONE and 3 Sims for my Wife and the Children. My home and business broadband has been cancelled ( happy to settle the penalty on one of the contracts just to move).

What I do know is, if you as a business owner or sales manager is not able to get the basics right, how do I know the rest of the business will deliver, please don’t email me with the one bad apple scenario. That was so 1960.

The moral of this snippet is this if you are in charge of Sales Management or Sales Planning, Training or Marketing you need to start thinking outside of the box.

In 2010 is has never been easier to make more sales using processes that work. The internet provides leverage for your business along with leverage for your customers.

What clients want is the best of both worlds, the instant information and decent sales staff. Whoever gets this right in each business sector wins the game.

Adapting systems and processes, training the likes of Martin in a consultative sales process and of course using the Internet as your Friend.

Richard Smith is a Sales Process and Internet Marketing Expert.

One part of The Richard Smith.com