Aesop’s Fables tells the tale of a wily wolf that dresses as a sheep to deceive a shepherd and gain access to his flock. Once on the inside, the wolf remains secreted until the shepherd locks the flock in for the night and then prepares for a juicy meal. Luckily for everyone but the wolf, the shepherd returns unexpectedly before the plan can be executed and kills the wolf. But what if the shepherd hadn’t returned early?
Let’s say the shepherd is really a business owner and the wolf is dressed up like a sales rep but is really an order taker in disguise. The business owner falls for the disguise and gives the rep access to his flock of customers. While other things distract the business owner, customers start to disappear one by one.
The average quota attainment for sales reps today is 51.8% according to CSO Insights. What if that’s because there are a lot of people dressed up like sales reps who really aren’t? What if businesses have given them access to customers just like the wolf gained access to the sheep? And, what if the business owner doesn’t come back early?
A study by the Corporate Executive Board found that customers want their sales reps to give them unique and valuable perspectives on the market and help them avoid risk. In short, they want reps to help them figure out what they need not just give them what they ask for.
Are your sales reps order takers in disguise?
Quote of the Week: “Certainly it’s a business and you’ve got to have a salesman, but in my mind, when you‘ve got two guys doing the same thing, you don’t need one of them.”
– Jerry Lawler