14 Mar 2010

Bullpen 101: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Behind the scenes 1 Comment

I decided to write this blog post because of my dear friend. Bullpen 101: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly will shed some light on the types of sales reps companies keep in there stable and what sets them apart from their peers? My friend is an accomplished sales rep and even through the recession of 2009 managed to increase sales. Bizarre, why would we find this bizarre? People can actually flourish when faced with the most discouraging economic conditions. But ‘how’ do these types of sales reps keep there chins up through tough times?

After having many many conversations regarding sales attitude, sales techniques, the ‘We’ and ‘It’ factors, and how to stay motivated. We will explore the three types of sales persona that make up most sales bullpens.

The title for this blog came from Sergio Leone’s, 1966 spaghetti western; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The plot centers around three gunslingers competing to find a fortune in buried Confederate gold.

The Good!

Good sales reps, or as I like to call them, the front line, are the life blood of any organization. Successful sale reps are hard working, self motivators, and value their clients needs.

A good sales representative has an expanding customer base and maintains excellent relationships with all of their individual clients. These sales reps visit their customers or call them regularly. They know their client’s needs and they know how to answer them. These sales reps take the extra steps to become familiar with their client’s wants and needs on a personal level by knowing certain details of his or her client’s business which could include; birthday, milestones, special events and even sometimes their pets names. Sales representatives must also know the product they represent.

Attributes of a good sales reps:

  • Listen more than they talk.
  • Put the customer’s needs first.
  • They ask why, a lot!
  • Sign ‘contracts’ with their customers and prospects.
  • They get feedback and address negative issues.

The Bad!

‘Bad’ may be too strong of a word, so let just say the average. These types of sales reps concentrate too much about the order, not the account. We have all seen in our work lives, the few self indulgent, out for their own, sales representatives. They seem to struggle, yet never fully understand why they can’t close the deal. They play the blame game, they never step out of their comfort zone and seldom listen.

These sales reps need to step into the shoes of the client and see exactly where their product or service is going to improve or enhance the clients lives the most. The sales rep who is honest will earn more respect over the long haul and depending on product may earn a very loyal customer base.

They have to stay focused and keep positive. They need to share their vision, to potential customer by visualizing for themselves the inherent value of the products they are selling. Best of all they need to enjoy their job. Be natural and relaxed with a little enthusiasm. These ‘bad’ sales reps never outsell reps that don’t pressure, they usually try to over sell to a customer which actually turns the customer off. The sales rep who leaves a positive impression on the customer whether you sold them or not, will be the first one they come to when they return.

The Ugly!

Dealing with troublesome sales reps suck. These sales reps or as I like to call them, ‘pampered princesses’, (not gender specific). These types of sales reps rely on desperation sales techniques by outing their company and their fellow employees to prop themselves up. They constantly waste time, they procrastinate and even sideline their efforts by placing blame.

How do they do this; They share one-upping stories to others contacts by following their stories with their own tales of woe, success, frustration, or social observations. These types of sales reps suck the life blood out of any sales department.

These sale reps occupy the sales manager’s time and patience discussing their petty differences. Constantly dealing with inter-office issues, rather than concentrating on the matter at hand.  Bending the manager’s ear explaining how they can’t work with their colleagues because they talk to loud on the phone. How they received dirty looks from others in their department when they arrived 3 hours late for work. Or they whine for yet another ‘personal’ day off. They spend their days sipping latte’s, scheduling their business appointments in between personal calls; hair appointments, manicures, three hour lunches, midday shopping sprees or the occasional golf game. – There’s always one in every office.

One Response to “Bullpen 101: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

  1. Christian-Ann Goulet says:

    Excellent article!! I can relate as I have been a sales rep for many, many years and am happy to say I would categorize myself in the “good” category. I have worked with the “bad” and the “ugly” and they usually don’t last long in most organizations (thank goodness) and tend to promote and spread negativity to any that will listen. The “good” have and will always prevail in the end!!!

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