The work done by field sales representatives requires a very particular set of skills and mode of thinking. Fortunately, all the necessary traits can be learnt and mastered with enough practice and guidance.
Field team managers can empower their representatives for success by guiding them and helping them learn how to be the best. In this article, we will outline some of the strategies that are used by the most effective and high performing field sales representatives.
1. Understand Your Offering Intimately
The most fundamental part of being an effective field sales representative is having a thorough understanding of the product. The more intimately you understand the product or service you are offering, the more confident you will be when speaking to a prospective client or customer. Your confidence will subconsciously trigger the consumer's trust both in you and the product or service you are selling. People tend to like what they trust, and buy what they like.
It is a good idea to commit to regularly studying your products and services. You can start with a thorough knowledge of all the features in each particular model, how successive generations of models differ and how the models differ across product ranges.
The next stage would be an exploration of how the products impact consumers' lives. What are the benefits of each model? In what use case is one option better than the others?
2. Understand and Empathize with The Consumer
When you know what you are selling, the next most important thing to understand is who you are selling to. Empathy is a key aspect of emotional intelligence that all effective sales representatives utilize to get to the core of a customer's problems and provide the best solution.
A sales representative exists to serve. The customer has a need and a sales representative must be perceptive enough to recommend a product or service that satisfies that unique needs. Understanding how a consumer intends to use a product, what their living circumstances are and the emotional problem they want to solve with the product in question all ultimately lead to a happy consumer who walks away satisfied with thier purchase.
A good way to think of sales is that you are not selling a product, you are selling the solution to a problem. Intuitively, it becomes clear that there can be no sale if you do not understand what is the problem at hand and who needs it. A consumer does not buy a car. They buy a status symbol to signal their new success at work; a practical and spacious way to transport their families to school and work; or a modest yet elegant and fuel efficient means to get to their job during the day and drive for a ride sharing service at night. The three different needs cannot be fulfilled with the same solution.
3. Set and Track SMART Goals
An effective field sales representative is by definition a successful one as well. Field sales personnel who do their job well will almost invariably get good results. Success is defined at a strategic level broken down into Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. These are quantifiable values that can give an objective measurement of how close the company is to achieving its definition of success.
The success of the sales department is the cumulative success of all the sales personnel. As such, effective field sales representatives are keenly aware of their of their own individual KPIs, and track them regularly.
Field sales representatives with a track record of success know that they need to set SMART goals in order to meet and exceed their KPIs. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Setting goals in this way makes it significantly easier to tackle what was initially just a nebulous numerical target.
4. Anticipate and Embrace for "No"
Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, how well you know the product and the customer's needs, they might just say no. It is an inevitable experience for every sales representative.
Effective field sales representatives recognize that when a customer says no, it offers a variety of advantages, the biggest of which is saving time. A prospective customer who says no is an indication to the sales rep that they are an unqualified prospect. It frees up the rep to focus their energy on more qualified leads.
Further to that, effective field sales representatives know that after hearing no, they need to understand why. The enquiry needs to be driven by an interest in serving the customer better, not challenging the rejection. While the no may not result in a sale, it can yield valuable data that can be used to improve the sales process.
There are a variety of opportunities and challenges that field sales representatives encounter. The most effective reps have strategies in place that help them navigate positive and negative circumstances to yield a useful outcome. Beyond that, they recognize that their managers and teams are there to support them, and they are not afraid to tap into that support system.
If you need a team of effective field sales representatives, get in touch with us today. We would be happy to help you bridge the gap between your brand and your ideal consumers.