Roy's Blog

March 18, 2012

How to make a sales person a powerful secret agent

One of the critical components of a strategy to be intensely focused on serving customers is to go beyond understanding the needs of customers to discovering their secrets.

This practise seeks to understand the deepest desires of those you have decided to serve and then to use this knowledge in marketing and service programs.

Sales should be held accountable for secret gathering given their strategic position in any organization.

Secret agent

Sales are often in the best position to ask the right questions of customers, listen, take notes, record what they discover and report their findings to the rest of the organization who need to know.

Yet they are rarely asked to perform this function. They continue to be expected to flood products and services and when they hit their quota they are successful.

The problem with this role is that they function like most every other organization in the marketplace and hence miss the opportunity to standout and achieve a strategic advantage.

Besides opening up additional marketing opportunities, secret gathering facilitates the relationship building process.

After all if your salesperson takes the time to actually be interested enough to try to understand the customer at a deeper level they obviously care about them, right?

The way to get sales to be secret agents is to build secret gathering into sales performance plans. And ensure Sales compensation plans include it as well otherwise it won’t get done.

Sales bonuses should assign a material weight to this component to get sales attention - I suggest at least 25% of the sales bonus should be based on secret gathering effectiveness.

Who decides how effective the salesperson is at secret gathering? The customer of course.

Introduce a customer report card detailing the sales behaviors you expect from the salesperson to exhibit when in the secret gathering mode. Then get the customer to rate the salesperson on each behavior.

How many secret agents do you have in your sales organization?


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  • Posted 3.18.12 at 10:39 am by Roy Osing
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