I have recently heard a sales manager saying, “the sales person’s job is to bring in customers. If product quality is bad, management will take care of it. Sales people should spend less time commenting on product quality.”
If a sales person is doing many other things other than selling, you can say that the sales person is not doing his job. However, if many sales people are doing so, then perhaps you need more investigation.
While it is true that sales people should commit their time and effort generating sales revenue, that may not be how customers perceive things. Customers want sales people to be “accountable for results”.
Hence, sales staff may make comments, or even overtures, to help improve quality. If a company has got a history of quality issues such as late deliveries, defects or missing parts, the sales staff of such companies will end up spending more time pacifying customers and taking steps (ranging from making complaints to literally monitor the production process) to ensure quality.
Also, if a company has problems maintaining consistent quality, or if the product is not really attractive to customers, it will adversely affect sales results as well.
So while it really shouldn’t be the job of the sales person to ensure quality, there are times that inputs from sales staff about our product features, service levels and quality standards are invaluable insights of what customers’ expectations are.
If management’s concerns are that if sales staff spends too much time on product issues and not enough on selling, then perhaps management should consider getting operations, engineering or other staff to handle customers’ feedback.
If the operations staff are hiding away from customers, or if there’s no one else to address product quality issues, then sales people will have to take on the role of “quality inspection”, NOT because they like to do so, but that’s how customers expect them to do so.
CJ Ng is the trusted sales advisor who have helped international companies achieve quantum improvements in sales profits in China and beyond. So far, c.j. has helped:
* A leading international hotel to produce the equivalent of an additional 5,000 room nights in China in the lull summer months of 2007
* A global leading architectural hardware company to increase the sales revenue of a key account in Shanghai by 10 times within 3 weeks
By Daniel Rray