One of the sales research books in my library was written in 1925.
That’s 91 years ago. Nine-tee-one years ago! Eek! Almost an antique.
“The Recruitment and Selection of Salesmen’ was based on a detailed university study of hundreds of salesmen at two large organisations. Here’s a few of the findings:
1. The records, report system, and other paperwork constitutes a real burden to the average salesman. The better salesmen do not feel the burden keenly.
2. Salesmen’s territorial reports are not accurate.
3. Supervision of salesmen is irregular, unsystematic, infrequent and not pointed to the main job of developing men.
4. The members of the present sales force, while they do not now measure up to the possibilities of the selling job, have the ability, when developed by proper training and supervision to become really effective salesmen.
5. The weakest point in field service is the very high rate of turnover in the sales force.
6. One important cause of salesman turnover is found in the poor selection of supervisors.
7. The company has failed to develop loyalty and enthusiasm in the sales force.
8. Field supervision is concerned too much with a checking up on the performance of routine duties and too little with training in effective selling.
So … apart from the obvious (that we ladies have now joined what was once a profession reserved for men), what has really changed in sales in the past 91 years?
We can optimise productivity using the latest CRM, Skype and Apple tech gadgets but no matter what – if you ain’t got the sales basics right – You. Will. Fail. Yes, money talks but all yours will say is goodbye.
Time and time again, fixing the basics resulted in my biggest success in sales development and sales turnaround projects for my clients.
After all, what more is successful selling than simply having the right people and processes in place?