In my review, experiences and conversations, I have found the greatest flaw in keeping, motivating, inspiring and growing our teams’ sales staff is the fact the employer and leadership do not train, grow and or utilize their salespeople’s abilities.
I get that some people just seem to be made for sales, while other people — although they can be trained to become better and more effective — oftentimes don’t quite start out with the best selling or personality skills it takes to succeed in sales. Going back to my initial statement, it is crucial to train, grow and utilize our salespeople’s abilities.
The old days of hiring a handful of new salespeople and seeing who sticks is not only outdated, but it is also expensive, extra work for the entire staff, wastes resources and is bad for the team culture and morale of the entire dealership.
Where I have seen dealerships — and businesses in general who rely heavy on their sales staff — succeeding in growing their sales staff’s abilities and keeping good salespeople is they understand each individual’s natural abilities and train them on the processes, systems and selling.
We all want a team of professional salespeople, but guess what? This doesn’t just happen; it takes training and effort from all parties and multiple resources. Educated, confident salespeople create results, gain ambition and insights, and continue to grow and become a resource and influence for future salespeople in their organization.
I worked at two dealerships for 16 years in retail automotive sales. The first dealership I was at had a great staff and leadership, yet its culture could have used a tune-up. There was little training offered — internally or from outside professionals — and new hires without a book of business or previous experience were often left to the wayside.
The second dealership I worked at, which was 11 years, also had a great staff and leadership, yet what made them so successful was the dealership culture that was built around the process and systems in place. This took out a lot of confusion, gave ambitious salespeople the opportunity to continually grow, and was a culture that helped each other be inspired and learn from one another.
So take a look at your last big group of hires and see what percentage you still have working for you. Then take a look at your most successful and productive salespeople, how you got them, trained them and groomed their abilities toward success. Do this and the answers will be right in front of you! Remember, while some people have more raw talent and people skills than others, no one starts as a perfect salesperson; therefore, it’s your job as a dealer and as a leader to train, grow and utilize your salespeople’s abilities!
Noel Walsh – NW&A Sales Training