Beyond the above mentioned, I'm not a big fan of plays or the arts. As I learn more about the world, though, I respect the very good plays a lot more, since I feel business, HR, sales and marketing are themselves an art.
If your job requires you to be in charge of sales people, follow the steps below and your competition will no longer be referred to as your competition - because you will have reached a higher elevation.
Stop Calling Them A Sales Force! Call Them What They Want To Be Called
That is, unless they like the term "sales force." If they are above a level of experience that you feel comfortable with, give sales people a title that they feel important being called, and comfortable with. With your sales team, it's not all about you. Yes. If the name doesn't make you feel comfortable, make a deal. But keep in mind that it has to be 50/ 50.
Titles are of great importance to people in the professional world. That is why you will never see anybody in my firm with a title that sounds plain; they are more talented than that. The term "Sales Representative" does not command enough authority and, surely you can think of a few that may seem appealing to independent 3rd party opinions.
Pay Them A Good Base Salary and Less Commission
As an entrepreneur, business owner and manager, you must strive to not make your sales force into a sales force. Rule 101 of sales and human psychology says nobody likes to be sold. If you underpay an ethical sales person, you'll see nothing different than the change in personality you will see from a dog who is underfed.
We all know that there are certain industries and sales people whom "we" all don't like to deal with. Now, take 2 seconds and think about the typical compensation model in those particular sales niches. Do you possibly see an inverse relationship between perceived base salary and customer service, integrity and loyalty to their organization?
Give Them Some Marketing To Work With
The reason why the more talented people tend to gravitate towards mid to larger sized firms is that these firms tend to have better marketing. Small companies that think sales representatives are going to change their company are wrong. There are no sales people who can change a company, only smart sales people who will resent you enough to become your competitors once they're gone.
Sales professionals want to feel that they are part of something special. Nearly everybody wants to be associated with something of importance or high regard. It is human nature. Don't think so. Would you be rude if George Clooney's agent called you and kindly asked if George could be your dinner guest?
Now, are you thinking that because it would be impolite, not because he is a celebrity? Here's your final answer. Would you do the same for someone whom you did not know or, in sales, whose company you did not know?
Now that you are cognizant of this fact, do you feel that salespeople should have a reputable name and website behind them?
This took me over 2 hours to write. It takes 15 seconds or fewer to tell a caller, "I do recognize and thank you for calling, we just really prefer to be taken off the list."
Ken Sundheim runs KAS Placement, a sales and marketing human resource agency specializing in helping both U.S. and International meet their sales force realignment needs.