As sales managers, you can’t solve your team and company’s problems if you’re not talking to customers directly. Especially during these uncertain times, I know many of you have become comfortable with just sitting behind your desk. However, you need to get out and talk to customers or, at least, talk to them virtually.
Now, I don’t mean stealing customers and prospects from your salespeople and closing them yourself. You know I’m not a fan of player coaches. What I do want you to accomplish with your sales team is to indeed meet with your customers in person or virtually.
Watch, Listen, and Coach
Watch how your sales team interacts with customers so that you can provide coaching. In particular, listen to what the customer is saying so that you can provide additional feedback to other salespeople, the marketing department, or the product development department. Also, identify what your customers are looking for so that you can be on the leading edge of any change that the organization needs to make.
Be in Front of the Market, Not Behind
One of my clients started executing this recently and discovered trends in which the customer was looking for different payment terms. Another one looked at an interaction with a client and realized that the sales rep was spending way too much time on a service area. In both cases, these sales VPs were able to come back to the organization and work with others to provide creative solutions that put them in front of the market—instead of behind.
Thus, challenge yourself this week. How many customers will you talk to with your salesperson? What will you do with the information when you learn about it?