Should senior management play a role in the sales process?
Yes! And it should be an active role.
Regardless of how big or small the company, top management must understand what is happening in sales for one simple reason — Sales is the group that interfaces with the customer.
If you’re in a sales leadership position, you have to get your top management out with customers. Problem is many times top management is actually afraid to do just that. Yes, that is correct. They’re afraid.
I’ve had the privilege of working with numerous companies around the world and across many industries, and it is a fact that they are often afraid to go out on sales calls.
Here’s why: Top management got to be where they are because they know how to control things. For them, walking in to meet a customer means in their mind they might not have control. That being the case, many top managers will make up any and every excuse imaginable as to why they don’t have time to meet with customers.
It’s your job as a sales leader to help them overcome that problem. There are a few simple things you can do.
Easiest thing is you eliminate the excuse that they don’t have time by inviting the customer to your offices. Arrange a special day for a good customer to tour your offices, see your operations and meet with people to discuss the business. On the agenda, you allow for time to have the customer meet with senior management. Suddenly, this becomes a lot easier for senior management, because the customer meeting is on their turf.
The next easiest thing to do is to arrange a day in the field for the senior management to meet with your salespeople. Along with the meeting with salespeople, arrange a breakfast or lunch with a friendly customer you could introduce to top management.
Your goal is to make it easy for senior management.
Once they begin to see that customers don’t bite and they’re really excellent people to have discussions with, then you can begin to move up the food-chain get them out on a real sales call.
One thing to keep in mind. Never let them them travel without you to a customer meeting. For their comfort and to prevent things from being said that shouldn’t be said, it’s imperative for you to be with them for each customer meeting.
Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.