Marlena thought for a moment, changed her mind to protest some more. “But, what about a salesperson who doesn’t like to do expense reports, or doesn’t like to update our CRM program? Don’t we have to look at those things in a person’s profile, attention to administrative detail? I will tell you, when we hire a salesperson, if they can’t, or won’t pay attention to the administrative part of the job, then we won’t hire them.”
“If that is the behavior you need from a salesperson,” I shrugged. “However, I think you need to think this through a bit more carefully. What is the work of a salesperson?”
“Well, first, they have to research their market, compile a list of likely customers,” Marlena started. “Then, set appointments to see those people, do a presentation, secure a contract, follow-up to make sure the contract is delivered to the customer’s satisfaction, then make sure we get paid.” She stopped. “That’s about it. If I can get them to do that, I’m happy.”
“So, let’s think through this,” I replied.
- Could the market research better be done by the marketing department?
- Could appointments better be done by an administrative scheduler?
- Could the follow-up better be done by customer service?
- Could securing payment better be done by accounts receivable?
I would submit to you that your salesperson is doing all kinds of non-sales work, which I am sure keeps them busy from making sales. It all gets down to – What’s the work of a salesperson?”