posted: Friday, April 5, 2013

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Communication is one of the keys in selling; communication between the salesperson and the customer is vital. We all understand that if the communication with the customer is not working, then sales are not going to follow. However there’s more than just the communication with the customer in the world of sales, and it’s just as important. Sales managers must communicate with their staff and vice versa.

In observing and listening to salespeople over the years, one of the things I continually hear is that they would like more feedback. Of course the best feedback is closing on sales; that’s the best barometer of how any salesperson is doing but ongoing feedback is always helpful. A good sales manager is also a good communicator. Do your salespeople know and understand the expectations, are you providing feedback on their performance and are you giving your salespeople the information they need? Any job is going to be much easier if the communication lines are open.

I will always remember this story from a frustrated salesperson who wanted to be great. He was new to the business and was thrown into the deep end with no training and never received any feedback on how he was doing. He tried, but without the proper training and support from his sales manager, he never had a chance. He was let go by the same sales manager who would not communicate with him. One of the reasons he was let go was because he failed to meet certain expectations that were laid out for him in his exit meeting, but that was the first time he had ever seen those expectations. How is anyone supposed to live up to a standard if they do not know what the standard is?

No one is suggesting that a sales manager hold the hands of every salesperson, but communicating your expectations is vital if you want success. Just as setting clear expectations is important, so is follow up and making sure that your team has a full understanding of what is expected of them. It works both ways, though, salespeople must be able to communicate with their sales managers when they have a question, or are having problems. A manager cannot help you if they don’t know you are struggling. The bottom line is this: open communication between sales managers and salespeople is just as important as the communication with customers.

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