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What Did You Call Me? The Power and Peril of Salesperson Titles

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There are many different titles used for sales people, but there are consequences when you use the wrong one. Learn how to select the right title for your sales roles in this episode of the Sales Management Minute.

Last night, my family went out for dinner at a local restaurant. We had a number of issues with our meal and finally summoned the manager. She came over, heard the problems and sprang into action. After ensuring everything had been resolved, she handed us a bill with many of the charges removed. Needless to say, we will certainly return to that restaurant.

But, why did I ask to speak to the manager? I believed, and correctly so, that she had the ability to quickly address my problems. Imagine if she came to the table, heard the issues and said she couldn’t do anything about it. How frustrated would we have been given that she had a managerial title?

One of the common strategies used by executives is to give sales people inflated titles like “Director” or “Vice President” when the role’s decision-making level is more like a sales representative. Inflated titles are often used to attract sales people to a company or “promote” someone in lieu of a higher salary.

While the salespeople may appreciate the nice title, what are the potential ramifications with your clients? When service issues, contract language and pricing concerns arise, your clients will look to this “executive” as their savior. And, they will be greatly disappointed when they find out that this is merely a sales representative in disguise.

Before you decide what title you will offer your salespeople, consider what expectations it communicates to your clientele and make sure the authority is commensurate with it.

See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.

Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitects.net or 763.416.4321.