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Sales and Telemarketing: Surviving the “hunting” expedition.

Job boards are full of postings searching for executive “hunters” with expertise in sales and marketing who are motivated, entrepreneurial, inexpensive, capable and with years of industry experience.

Sales People- beware of these ads! Do not keep your hopes high if your manager is a believer in ‘number games” and high volume activities.

What they are really saying is: “We can’t find customers, so we need someone to come in and miraculously turn things around and get us the new business which we are not getting right now”.
Sales is an ancient human activity an they approach it from this common perspective so it makes sense. People buy only if there is solid value in what is offered, and this value must be proven and professionally communicated such that the message is actually heard in our information overloaded lives. Sounds simple, right?However, this type of communication is still rare in sales scripts and business plans. Most sales practices are still based on ” we have been in business for a gazillion years and we are the best, and blah blah blah.” The secret is that your boss does not know anything better, so they want you to do it even if it doesn’t work because it worked for them 10, 20 and 30 years ago. But it won’t work today.

Companies must invest in marketing and must invest wisely. Sit down and do your SWOT analysis after speaking to your past and current customers. Hire a consultant to help you to figure it out and develop a communication strategy that works. Then hire a marketing company who is in tune with your culture and strategy and make it a partner in sales. Do not dump sales prospecting activities only onto your sales people. They are there to sell, not perform high volume telemarketing campaigns.

To succeed, sales people need a healthy mix of “farming” and “hunting”. “Farming” constitutes working with existing customers, learning from them, educating them and delivering their messages to your company to increase demand for your products or services. “Hunting” activities include business networking, cold calling for referrals, prospect follow-up and demand generation.
To succeed, a salesperson needs a constant supply of new leads generated by a professional marketing company that works the phones delivering your intelligently designed and carefully crafted message to the right audience. The job of a sales person is to insure that no lead goes unfollowed. To ensure the success of lead generation, communicate with your business developers daily, listen to what they say and apply this information wisely. Give them good databases to call and create customized scripts for every market; they will make your sales team a star!
So, if your boss is a believer in number games, take him to your sales appointments, get him on the phone with you. Prove that you need help, and in changing your “hunting” expedition survival will be assured.