Who are your salespeople?  Do you know their names? Their background or previous experience? What about their expertise?

Does your sales force have high turnover? Are they well educated on your portfolio?

Do you really know if your sales force is effectively selling your products?

With limited intimate knowledge of your sales force and their varying capabilities, there is a lot of unknown going on behind the closed doors of a sales meeting. And although we all hope that every sales rep is walking in competent, confident, prepared and rehearsed, we can’t stick our head in the room to be sure that they really are.

The reality is, behind those doors, reps are walking in busy and distracted.

Your salesperson might have other meetings on her mind. Or maybe she took this meeting on a whim, and what could potentially be a very interested customer is unengaged due to lack of preparedness from your salesperson.

Maybe your salesguy had a presentation ready-to-go, but it’s buried somewhere on his desktop and the first 15 minutes of the meeting is spent searching for it.

And it’s always possible that the meeting goes a little sideways, and although she had material prepared for the initial topic of conversation, she isn’t able to pivot to this new potential sale with any grace.

As the sales and marketing teams that develop products and collateral, these are the situations we need to keep in mind.

We shouldn’t develop materials for the reps with years of experience under their belt. Those people don’t need great sales tools, and they won’t rely on them anyway.

Instead, we should all be developing materials for the reps who can’t “wing” it – the reps who don’t have full knowledge of your portfolio or tend to be unprepared.

Let’s give these reps the tools to consistently give a polished presentation. Let’s give these underachievers the ability to provide consultative selling. Let’s give these people a chance to close the deal.

Giving your salespeople tools that will help all of them look polished and knowledgeable (and competent) will greatly increase the confidence your potential customers have in the sales rep – and ultimately, in your company.