Open Letter to My Sales Manager

by | Aug 28, 2016

Dear Sales Manager,

First, thank you for the opportunity to work here!  I’m excited about this new opportunity for me to contribute to a great company, help customers achieve their goals and earn a significant income!

I know you’re very busy managing customers and the rest of your sales team.  I recognize that your priority is meeting the company’s sales expectations for your team and I am only a small piece of that.

However, there are a few things I’d really appreciate, which I believe will help me become far more productive, much faster and ultimately save you and the rest of the team time as well.

A Well Organized Customer List

A list of names and phone numbers is not exactly what I’m asking for here.  I’d like to know what our relationship with these customers has been in the past.  I don’t really want to read through pages of notes, etc. but, just sort the list based on sales volume in the last year or industry or number of employees or type of product purchased, etc.  This will help me have a sense of which customers are really making up most of our business and focus my attention in the right places.

I know that often the other sales reps will be concerned that I might try to “poach” on their accounts, etc. but, if the customer list can include some examples outside of my territory, like our best accounts, that will help me look for similar accounts in my territory.  If you can just make it clear to me which accounts are mine and which are not, then I promise not to step on anyone’s toes.  I know my best path to success is to learn from other successful salespeople so, it’s in my best interest to be careful and respect their “territory”.

Some Profiles of Big Customers and Little Customers

With any product or service, it’s easy for a new salesperson to get distracted with the wrong kind of opportunities.  My friends and family will try to help me out and suggest people or businesses they know of that could use the products we sell.  However, this business has unique features and advantages and those fit best with certain types of customers and those specifics might not be obvious to outsiders and probably aren’t obvious to me.

I’d love to have some “demographic” or “firmographic” data on our best customers – income, age, industry, title, application, revenue, location, etc.

What are the common problems those customers have that we address better than any other vendor?

The Process

What are the steps in our sales process?  Even better, what are the steps most customers go through in their buying process and how does our sales process map to that?

What are the objective, measurable things that customers do as they move toward a purchase?

What are the resources on our website or marketing collateral that they have to or frequently review?

Is it just Appointment for Discovery of Needs, Demonstration/Presentation, Proposal, Close?

Who is involved in the decision for the customer typically?  When do each of these people get involved?  How long does the overall process typically take?

Is there a contract or service agreement that their legal team will review?

If you can show me examples of all of these things and give me rough estimates of how many of each of these things happen in a given day, week or month if I’m hitting my sales goals, then I’ll be able to set personal goals for new prospects, new appointments, etc. and manage myself to a large degree.

A Script

I know this isn’t necessarily a telemarketing position where I’m supposed to say the exact same thing to every customer but, having a script sure would help me get started!  I’m probably not going to memorize it and repeat it over and over again but, I’d like to know  what has been found to work well in the past and start there and make it my own.

Even though making cold calls may not be our main source of new opportunities, I’m a salesperson and I need to fill up my pipeline.  If you’ll help me know what to say to get a conversation started with a prospect, I’d love to make a few cold calls just to get a feel for our market and our customers.  This will increase my confidence level tremendously!

What are the best things for me to say in the first minute of a conversation to get the customer engaged?

A List of Questions

What should I be asking customers?  Obviously, I want to ask about the data points that identify big clients vs. little clients, etc. but, what are the questions that will get the customer talking about their challenges?  How can I see the world through their eyes?  How can I understand how our products and services are impacting their bottom line as a business?

An Example Proposal

For a new salesperson, you might feel we don’t need to focus on this until we have a hot prospect identified but, seeing what the proposal is going to look like and include will help me know when I’m talking to customers that will appreciate it.

Let me look through some big ones and show me why we won them or lost them.  What did the customer like or dislike?

Follow Up Emails

When I have conversations with prospects and customers, there will be things we want them to review and next steps we want to steer them toward.  I’m going to write emails to summarize these things for customers after our conversations.  The rest of the team has probably done this thousands of times.  It would certainly help me get better results sooner if I could start with some examples of those!

Also, if I’m having trouble getting people on the phone or getting an appointment, any suggestions for how to “light a fire” under them or get their attention would be great.  Examples of emails that help get appointments set would be very helpful.

Thanks again for this opportunity!  I look forward to being a growing part of our company’s success!

Best Regards,
Sally the Salesrep