The seller-doer sales model is employed by nearly all small-to midsize firms in our industry. It’s a challenging model that asks non-salespeople to BE salespeople. But often, they don’t want to do it, don’t like to do it or don’t know how to do it. So, what’s the answer?
While there are dozens of things you could do to maximize the results of your seller-doer program, the majority fall into three main categories…
#1. Make ‘em great!
That is, make sure your seller-doers learn the craft of selling. As an industry, we’re happy to send our employees to conferences or CE programs to become better researchers. So, why not do the same for your seller-doers as a means to improve their selling skills? This could include:
- Participating in sales training programs focused on our industry (my fav, of course: The Seller-Doer Workshop)
- Subscribing to sales-focused magazines and newsletters (my fav: Selling Power)
- Regularly listening to podcasts and reading blog posts from thought leaders in sales (my favs: Advanced Selling podcast and Partners in Excellence Blog)
- Joining sales-related LinkedIn groups
- Setting up Google alerts so your seller-doers receive a constant inflow of new selling-related content to keep their skills sharp
#2. Give ‘em marketing help!
Far too many seller-doers in our industry are like islands – left to their own devices to be successful. Don’t put that pressure on them… give them a leg up. These opportunities to help generally fall into three areas:
- Building awareness for your firm in the market(s) you serve
- Cementing your position/reputation so you’re not just known, you’re known for something
- Generating qualified sales leads for your seller-doer to follow up with
When you don’t provide that sort of marketing support, your seller-doers end up trying to ‘make it happen’… which usually means, cold LinkedIn outreach, cold sales emails, and – worst of all – cold calling. While cold efforts can be successful, they are absolutely the least productive use of any business development person’s time.
Rather, utilize consistent and frequent – and easy – marketing tactics to kick-start and support your sales efforts:
- Posting regularly on LinkedIn (3-5X per week)
- Paying for your seller-doers to attend conferences and other networking events to build awareness for themselves and your firm, as well as generate some sales leads
- Regularly sending out an enewsletter to keep your firm top-of-mind with everyone in your database
- Advertising via relevant channels to gain exposure to new potential buyers
- Making sure your website is updated and built to maximize the number of visitors, as well as providing a really good user experience.
- Frequently creating ungated content (like blog posts) and then promoting the he** out of it to build awareness for your firm, as well as showcase your thought leadership and subject matter expertise
- Occasionally creating gated content (e.g., eBooks, webinars, etc.) to not only help with awareness building and positioning, but to also generate qualified sales leads
#3. Lead ‘em the right way!
Success in sales – in any organization and in any industry – requires two things: good salespeople and even better sales management (not necessarily the position, but the function). Here are five key management concepts needed to be an effective Sales Manager:
- Create a sales culture at your firm
- Create the right structure for your sales team
- Recruit, hire and onboard smartly
- Provide the necessary tools to be successful
- Set reasonable sales goals, measure smartly and provide appropriate compensation
But more important than all of these is to take care of your seller-doers. To be seller-doer-centric. Not to just manage them… but to coach them, support them, develop them over time and help them become the best seller-doers they can be.
There is nothing easy about the seller-doer model… but you can be successful at using it to grow your business. The key is to be purposeful with it… to proactively manage it and not just ‘set it and forget’ and hope it works. Because we all know that ‘hope is not a strategy.’
Good luck and good selling.