A Commercial Sales Agent is the person at your company who would be tasked with generating new commercial accounts that provide sales for commercial install, maintenance and service work. And for strengthening and maintaining healthy business relationships with the commercial business you already service.
A little more about Commercial Sales Agents.
They are not the salespeople at your company who sell equipment and have extensive training on what it takes to do that specialized work. I’ll share more about why that is later on.
The reason you need this position at your company is because it’s easy to neglect your commercial accounts because you and your people are busy with other things. Face it. You probably already know you’ve lost touch with commercial customers you serve; the very people you once showered with attention when you first opened up the account.
Sometimes, we get so busy trying to grow our commercial business at our company that we mistakenly think these customer must be happy with us and we don’t need to divert our time and energy to them anymore. The mistake would be thinking that if they’re not calling to complain they must be happy with you. That’s not necessarily so. Many times they feel they’ve been ignored and they are just beginning to look around for someone else to serve their needs.
So when a good salesperson from your competition shows up or has been called in to talk to them about their account, they will be able to exploit the neglect and unhappiness. Sometimes, your customer goes shopping at a convention or trade show they attend. Anyway it happens, you won’t find out till they’re gone and then it’s too late.
The only way to minimize this scenario is by you becoming proactive about building and maintaining strong relationship based on a combination of face time [not the kind you get from Apple®] and good ongoing communications.
Building new commercial business and maintaining these highly personal relationships is time intensive and takes great customer skills.
If you’re thinking your equipment salesperson will also make time to do this work, you’re dead wrong. They’ll do whatever work they think will give them the biggest bang for the buck. In other words, whatever type of work they like to do best, whatever they can do in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort that will make them the most money right now.
That’s why developing a Commercial Sales Agent at your company is so important.
Here are just a few things you’re going to want your new Commercial Sales Agent to do:
- Deliver relationships with new commercial clients that result in new business. This should create commercial service and install work for the company.
- Work with the Sales Manager to create new marketing initiatives and make sure the agreed upon Marketing initiatives are being executed to company standards so the goal of new commercial work is being reached.
- Dedicate the time and energy to keep existing commercial clients using your company and work on keeping their own newly opened accounts using our company.
- Improve their measured performance through software tracking and a paperwork process that allows the company to track and to reward appropriately.
- Handle customer complaints from their accounts by tracking them and reporting the resolution to the Sales Manager.
- Be accountable to goals for opened accounts and dollars produced both from new accounts and existing accounts they serve.
What’s really helpful is to have a documented sales process for your Commercial Sales Agent to follow.
Here’s a quick overview of what that sales process should look like:
Step #1: The general sales call procedure needs to start before the Commercial Sales Agent even leaves the shop. All the necessary customer background and contact information should be obtained from the CSR. A Commercial Sales Agent is required to verify the appointment and contact information before making a field visit.
Note: If the Commercial Sales Agent is running cold leads [which is part of the job] to reach potential clients through all types of methods such as calling, stopping into their office, emailing and meeting them at trade shows and conventions, they are the ones responsible for lead generation and tracking without the Customer Service Representative in the office being involved.
Once a Commercial Sales Agent arrives at a business, they do the following:
Step #1: Arrive within the time range promised. Call if running late to keep the business owner updated. And if the delay has made it inconvenient for them, offer another time that is best for them.
Step #2: Dress appropriately as described in the Commercial Sales Agent manual so you will make a good first impression.
Step #3: Begin by asking the customer what the problems are and what they really want to achieve. This is how the Commercial Sales Agent can help the customer develop trust.
Ask these 3 questions and write their answers:
- What is the most disruptive issue when the plumbing, heating or cooling system isn’t working?
- What’s been your frustration with service in the past?
- How important is it to avoid these type of issues before they have an impact?
This will get you off to a good start toward building a Commercial Sales Agent at your company. It’s the very best way I know to get more new commercial accounts and keep the commercial accounts you already have happy and buying more of the products and services your company sells.