Monday, December 30, 2013

Rub a dub dub

Remember the old Nursery rhyme that went like this? 

Rub a dub dub,
Three fools in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three

There are 3 other "fools" you might meet in channel sales.
Order takers, Account Managers, and Sales Managers. Now I'm not saying all salespeople are fools, but some fools are salespeople. Let's talk about the differences between them.

Order Takers
If you call your vendor and tell them what you need, you are talking to an order taker. Some of them can answer a question, or transfer you to someone who can, but they are purely reactive. They enable a sale, but they don't and can't help you grow your business.

Account Managers
If you receive a call from your vendor, you may be hearing from an account manager. Yes, they can take an order, but they can also help you and your sales team make an order by providing strategic information and incentives. You should be leveraging your vendors account managers by putting them to work for you. Have them analyze your customer base, look at your margins, create go to market plans with the vendors marketing team. All this will cost you nothing and the value can be huge. What can't an account manager do for you? Sell. Sell or help your new salespeople sell better.

Sales Manager
Thes sales managers are hunters. They can help you close new business. They can help teach your sales staff how to close new business. If you have a vendor that has field sales people, use them. Open your customer base and do joint sales calls with them. Have a lunch and learn (use the vendor's marketing budget). Have them present at a staff meeting. Great sales people are hard to find, let your vendors help you create some.

Don't dread a call from any of these, use them, leverage them, cash in on them, or you may be the only fool in the tub.

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