Build A Sales Force

Written by Sandy Mitchell
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The temptation of a sales manager is to hire salespeople who all share the same personality--usually similar to his. This is seldom wise. A successful sales force is all about diversity. Different backgrounds and different personalities bring new ideas and slants to the sales effort.

Choose salespeople with sales ability and integrity, but consider those with their own personalities. Different ideas and different approaches to a challenge are what makes a company and a product interesting. Also, not everyone's style is appropriate for every client. Having a good mix of personalities ensures a good fit for every buyer.

Traits of Good Salespeople

Good salespeople must know how to sell, but being a successful salesperson takes more than just sales ability. Good salespeople must have superlative communications skills. A salesperson's whole job is about sharing information with others--with the sales manager, with clients, and with those working in support departments, such as order processing and marketing. In addition, a good salesperson must know and love his product. Nothing says "phony" louder than a salesperson who doesn't know basic information about what he is selling. Writing skills are also important.

A good salesperson needs to have basic computer skills. Increasingly, orders are entered via laptop computer. This is a great tool for a field sales rep. Live inventory, product specifications, and delivery information are all available to him in an instant. Though many salespeople are successful without it, a college degree, particularly one in sales or marketing, is also desirable.

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