The secret to keeping successful sales people

It happens in every company.  Someone gets hired to fill a role. They do well with it. Really well. They do so well that they begin helping out in other areas. Then the help becomes regular. As people leave they may not even be replaced because other people have shown they can do the work.

Before you know it that initial job role is almost unidentifiable and it has morphed into something new. Something larger. Something…not good!

This happens in companies of all sizes and is called “scope creep.” It’s when the scope of a job creeps out to encompass other areas.

The reasons for this are many. Maybe a company is trying to save money, or capitalize on talent. Maybe, after hiring someone for a position, the company realizes that the person would be better suited for another role, but doesn’t have anyone to fill the original role.

Whatever the reason, it is common. And it’s a disaster for the team member!

Team members who have had their role and job duties expand beyond their job description can get resentful, tired, overworked and feel underappreciated. It’s a motivation killer and absolutely contributes to higher turnover.

So, how does this affect your sales team and what can you do about it?

Let’s first look at how this can impact your sales team.

Salespeople have a tough job. They have to be on all the time, meaning they have to be upbeat and energetic, ready to answer any question that is thrown at them at any time. They get to talk to all kinds of people, which is often times fun, and tiring at the same time.

They have to be good with numbers so they can perform quick calculations when prospects ask, and have great memories to remember product and service offerings, along with payment options and bonus inclusions.

There is a lot for them to think about in order to have successful sales!

Now, imagine adding some additional things to this list. Imagine also asking them to handle lead generation.  An art in itself, lead generation is often a full time job that requires skills that are completely different than those used in sales.

And what about adding customer service to the list? There are a number of pitfalls with this strategy, and they can be disastrous!

Primarily, your sales reps should not ever be asked to handle ongoing client care issues. It can kill their morale and energy for the sale.

Imagine if your top salesperson, who sells your prospects on the experience of working with you, has to deal with a tough refund request from a disgruntled client. (We don’t like these calls, and hopefully don’t get a lot of them…but we all get a few.)

How hard would it be to take a refund call, and jump right onto a sales call?  Pretty tough to manage your energy for that, right?

That’s why it’s so critical to make sure your sales team performs your sales duties. Period. Do not allow their role description to succumb to scope creep.

Now for the important question…how do you avoid scope creep for your sales team.

Well, it’s fairly simple.  First, make sure you have solid job descriptions written down, and that you and your team agree on what their role is. Be clear about their duties and your expectations so that there are no questions.

Hire team members to perform the other tasks your business needs filled like client care and lead generation.  Again, clear role descriptions will help you to hire the right people for these roles, and keep them doing what they are best at.

Finally, create a system that your team can follow if they feel like their roles are expanding beyond what was agreed upon. Whatever system you’re most comfortable with will work. Just make sure you have one in place and that your team understands you want to know if there are any problems.

By following these guidelines you can ensure your team members are performing the job functions you need them to be performing. You will keep your sales team operating at their top potential, and your company will make more revenues because of it.

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