The following is from an actual job ad.
As the Account Executive, primary responsibilities will include outbound calling and selling, structuring, negotiating, and implementing contracts with eCommerce companies, Internet companies, and other relationships by performing the following duties:
- Generate new leads and sources for leads to expand and grow specific partner programs
- Seek out, research and qualify prospects
- Close sales to attain and exceed quota goals
- Collaborate with marketing department to develop strategies for establishing partnerships and business relationships
- Customize solutions to fit client needs
- Manage relationships and contracts with various prospects, clients, and partners in the eCommerce environment
- Provide input to the management team on new product or service features, quality issues, and customer needs and demands
There’s nothing wrong with that description. It details some specific activities that the salesperson will perform
but does this job description really get to the essence of what the job is all about?
Here is an exercise I learned many years ago. The idea is to take any occupation and describe the primary objective in 5 words or less. Each of these examples has multiple activities that can be listed in a job description – but what is the most important item that gets to the core of expectations.
- Airline Pilot: Fly plane safely to destination
- Doctor: Make patients well
- CEO: Increase Profit for Investors
- Police Officer: Protect the Public
So what is the 3 – 5 word description of a Salesperson’s job. Choose the best answer from 1 – 5 below.
- Keep Customers Happy
- Build Client Relationships
- Contact All Clients and Prospects
- Sell More Stuff
- After Sales Follow Up
They’re all good answers but there is one that is the end result of all the others – which is #4, Sell More Stuff. Look up again at the job description near the top of this blog. It’s a good comprehensive description of the activities involved in selling. The overall message of the ad however, is that it’s a varied job with many areas of reponsibility including outbound and inbound selling.
Here’s the thing – If you are doing all those things but you are not selling stuff then what’s the point?