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What makes a great customer sales rep?

May 11, 2023



Recently, we introduced a new solution for increasing sales productivity. As enterprise organizations switch strategies from outreach to building relationships with existing customers, the need for a dedicated customer sales representative becomes more and more clear. 

The next logical question from companies is what makes a good customer sales rep? Who should you be looking at to establish and lead these new sales operations? And that is what we’re here to answer today. 

Customer sales reps don’t need to be a new hire for your team. Because so many enterprises already lean on their sales teams to engage with existing customers and execute expansion opportunities, it’s likely that someone on the team already has what it takes to excel in this new position. The choice leadership needs to make is which customer sales profile will fit with which customer segments. 

Let’s go through the kinds of people that make for excellent customer sales reps. 

The Exceptional Host

When you imagine throwing a great party, you might think about the music, the food, and if there are enough places for people to sit and mingle. Anyone who plans for those details is a good host. But an exceptional host pays attention to the details everyone else may take for granted. An exceptional host knows details about every guest, so they can ask specific questions when they greet each person. They know who should sit next to each other at dinner because they know who will have what in common. They also know how to gracefully nudge people home when it’s time. 

All of those qualities make for an exceptional customer sales rep as well. They are the person on your team who knows the high-level details of each account, including how long they’ve been a customer and what their business goals are. But they also know the smaller details, like the specific strategies they are trying to operationalize, the positions they are trying to fill in their team, and their company milestones. 

The customer sales rep uses these details to create the personalized customer experience necessary to retain and grow an account. They can connect customers with other accounts that are working towards the same goals. Most importantly, they can build the right menu for each account based on what they care most about. It’s much easier to close a sale if the customer believes they need what you’re offering, and The Exceptional Host customer sales rep does just that.

The Aspiring Santa 

Who doesn’t love the guy who delivers presents directly to your living room and never asks for anything in return? If you have someone on your team who proactively delivers value without requiring any reward in return, you have a perfect customer sales rep to consider. 

Of course everyone in your organization delivers value in one way or another, but a good customer sales rep goes the extra step to deliver it directly to your customers. They will explain how a new feature can serve their specific needs, or how a new update will impact their workflows, or share a quick article about how changes in the industry could impact their business goals. They do this without any immediate request because they know this is how you build loyalty in the long-term. 

The other thing about Santa? He’s always watching. A good customer sales rep should also always have their eye on customer segments, including who is performing poorly and who is exceeding expectations. Unlike Santa, they are not looking for who to punish, but rather, who to spend extra time on to reduce churn and avoid unnecessary work. Ultimately, The Aspiring Santa knows everything about every customer and uses that knowledge to bring value each day. 

The TED Talk Enthusiast

Look around your snack counter or in the chat during your next company-wide meeting. Do you notice one person who always has something inspirational to add? Someone who jumps at the chance to lead a lunch-and-learn? You might be looking at the next customer sales representative for your organization. 

Customers today look for guidance. They want to succeed using your product, to learn how to be more efficient from your team, and to understand what products and features they need from your company to reach their goals. But, they won’t respond to the standard pitch. They want personalized guidance from someone who knows their goals and can show them the path to a successful future. In other words, they want their own TED Talk. Customer sales reps should deliver the inspirational path forward for each customer, including pointing them to the features of your product that will help them get there. 

If you find someone on your team who enjoys the sales process, and especially excels at painting a big picture for your customers, they might be exactly who you need to implement customer sales into your organization. 

The Conductor

Finally, your next customer sales rep might act more like a conductor. The conductor understands the entire piece of music, they know, down to each note, who should be playing, at which tempo and volume. Throughout the concert, they keep everyone driving forward, always keeping an eye on what’s next and who needs to be involved. 

The Conductor on your team should possess the same characteristics. They should have a holistic knowledge of the entire customer journey, which workflows to use on your various customer segments and when. They should know how to bring your customer success and sales teams together to close every opportunity. Basically, they need to know where every customer account is at any given moment so that they can execute the next move flawlessly. 

Look for someone who loves details, who can read reports and turn them into action at a moment’s notice, and someone who naturally leads your team. If that person is on your team right now, you have all the makings of an efficient and impactful customer sales operation.