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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."


Making the Jump From CSR to Sales

From “The Bitter Sales Manager’s Bible” *

CSR Disease
 (see-ess-are di-zeez) noun—Affliction known to take down many sales-wannabees as they mother every friggin’ detail of every friggin’ job and get caught in the bloody quagmire of their orders, unable to grow beyond the limits of their own inability to just let it go, for crying out loud!

    •    No such thing, but would make a great title, don’t you think?

The minute—no, the second—I hear that a rep I will be working with is coming from an inside sales or CSR position, I instinctively have a Scooby Doo “rut-row” moment and think, “Here we go again!”

One of the more difficult aspects of growing sales is in letting the internal production process take care of itself and focus on your job as a salesman: Selling! Those who can accomplish this see their sales increase and their stress level stay in check. Those who don’t, can’t, or won’t hit a ceiling and can’t figure out how to break through. Their frustration level rises in direct proportion to their sales manager’s stress level.

The difference is CSR Disease.

CSR Disease occurs when the rep who sold the order takes on the characteristics of a Helicopter Parent and hovers over the details of the project from start to finish, protecting it like it was a child. On paper, it sounds like a simple solution: Let go. But, in practice, it can be impossible to get away from the deeply-ingrained practice of watching out for the little things.

The cure?

The first step is to admit that you are afflicted. The second step is to communicate the details. The third step is to trust in your internal process. The fourth step is to distract yourself by, oh I don’t know, getting out there and selling something else, perhaps?

If you are the manager of such a person, you will be well advised to communicate order progress to the CSR-turned-sales-rep, thus calming fears. Should that not do it, floggings might work just as well (although communication is easier and involves virtually no blood curdling screams).

Making the jump from CSR to Sales is doable. It takes trust and a lot of communication both ways. Like other things in life, it is a transition. You might start out losing sleep over leaving your babies in the care of others, but if you do it right, you will soon join the throngs of sales people complaining about how their jobs are screwed up and how inept the CSR team is.

Good times...

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