When you can't reach anyone on your sales team is that a good thing or a bad thing?
When they are all on sales calls, working the phones, or with customers/clients is that a good thing or a bad thing?
At first blush, it's a good thing - certainly better than if they were all sitting around with nothing to do, working on the computer to give the appearance of being busy, or worse, driving around trying to decide whether to stop at Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panera, or Au Bon Pain!
On second thought, what if they ARE on sales calls but instead of asking questions and differentiating your company they are simply making presentations and talking value propositions? What if they ARE working the phones but rather than gaining prospects' attention and engaging them in discussions, they sound like awful telemarketers? What if they ARE with customers and clients but instead of developing the business relationship and growing the business they only bring coffee and donuts for everyone?
What if they aren't doing ANY of the three? What if they're working for someone else at the same time they are supposed to be working for you? That's what can happen when you don't micro manage remote salespeople!
There is busy and there is effective. Many executives confuse being busy with being effective. Long hours with work ethic. Good relationships with good salespeople. Good account management with good performance.
It is not easier to close business in a recovering economy than in a depressed economy. The difference is that while companies were not spending money last year, now they are being very cautious about who they spend that money with and what they spend it on. More competition, more pressure on your pricing, more resistance, and more hidden objections.
Take the blinders off and ask yourself if your salespeople are truly up to such a challenge.
Are yours? Are you? Why?
(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan