No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Sales and Account Management training



I work for a company which has existing contracts with our clients, with orders being placed via inbound phone call.

The company would like to see an increase in the uptake of special offers and cross/up-selling

Forgive the broad outline, the further 'complication' is that a lot of the people are based within Sales Admin and do not see it as part of their 'job' to sell...

So if anyone can provide guides, advice etc it would be very much appreciated.

PS. I am hoping to produce individual personal development plans for each of the staff- any advice on this?

Many thanks

Adam Slack

12 Responses

  1. perhaps you need to avoid making it seem like “selling”
    Role rejection is an issue for the folks you are dealing with so you need to look at finding ways of helping them to “sell up”/”cross sell” without them perceiving that they are being used as sales people (unpaid!).
    Since the client has already had the “sell” what your people can now do is the “help” bit.
    Get them to perceive the benefits of their being able to advise clients rather than just take orders, then
    you can use practical exercises where the task of the people is to reduce the cost per unit to the client or where the client needs help through the ordering process.
    I did this with 3000 truck drivers and call centre staff a couple of years ago; the resistance was quite strong but we did these kinds of exercises and the outcomes were amazing in terms of company turnaround, increased income/profitability AND customer perceptions of service.
    Rus Slater

  2. Come on, Selling is a skill – it can be taught!
    Hmm, can’t agree with the last post! Let’s think about this, “without them perceiving that they are being used as sales people…”

    I wonder how other professionals would feel about having some one say, “let’s get people to do something, but not let them perceive it as what it is.”

    Selling is a professional skill that can be taught. We don’t ask IT Trainers to go into a class room without them having the skills required?

    I certainly would not advise having a “perceived” non-sales person, without having the right training and understanding, to “up sell” to a client — a) the sales admin person would see straight through this b) the client would too, and in a short period of time you could actually lose clients — not to mention most likely you could lose some very good sales admin people too.

    On the other hand there are some very good ways to encourage, motivate and increase the skills of your department not only to up-sell, but to start having a belief that selling is good!! And yes, if you are asking people to do things outside their “perceived normal practise”, then you will need to introduce some sort of bonus – not necessarily cash.

    Depending on your requirements, you too need to “sell” this new programme internally before commencing a programme to up skill your staff.

    Whilst you were vague on your requirements, this is a common challenge for a wide variety of companies in the UK, a wide variety of companies have also benefited from introducing selling skills to people in their organisation who are not necessarily sales people.

    The best example I can give is the Post Office – a simple “sales training” programme properly introduced to their counter staff increased revenue.

    If you can give me more information, please do, I would be happy to advise you further.

    Kevin McLaren

  3. Altering their contracts???
    I thoroughly support Kevin and disagree with Rus’s statement.
    Every time I walk into KFC I am not duped into ‘perceiving’ I forgot to order something – would you like a large fries with that? Would you like a drink with that? Even WHSmith are now doing it -grrrrr – I know they are upselling to me, your own staff and customers are also well able to assess this SALES technique.
    I think a more pertinent issue is the resistance you might face to change. It might also be worth checking to see if sales and upselling are actually written into these people’s job descriptions/contracts. If they are not and you are changing the nature of their role then you could be on sticky ground. HR is the first place to start.

    PS> Happy New Year one and all

  4. selling issues

    Although I was a professional salesperson for over 25 years, I can understand the comment about it not being ‘their job’.

    Selling is still not really seen as admirable in the UK. It’s been tarnished by what I call the ‘rep’ mentality.

    But, see it as a profession (which it is) and mental attitudes will change.

    Everyone sells something, whatever their job or position.

    However, mention ‘selling’ and many people feel genuine fear: fear of the pressure of income attached to achieving targets is just one.

    The reality is that to increase revenue, everyone needs to ‘sell’ but they might need to have it packaged differently to appeal to inner needs and fears.

    Please feel free to email me at if you need any specific help.

    Cheers Euphrosene

  5. Beware Double Standards
    A common issue I have found is where you have people on different contracts. Specially where you may have people employed as sales personel who get commission, but the sales admin do not. This can often create a “them and us” barrier.

    A comment I have often heard is “they get commision for selling so why don’t I”.

    I do not know if this is an issue in your organisation I only suggest it as something to look at if it is.

  6. The response you actually wanted…
    Dear Adam,
    If you are looking for Sales and Account Management Training, I run exactly this kind of training and would be happy to assist. Please view my website for more info
    Kind regards,

  7. Sales Coaching

    Hi. The issue with this is whether you have sales people or order takers!

    With cross selling and upselling most people adopt the “McDonalds – do you wanna go large on that approach?” This works in some cases but you need an approach where your sales staff understand the client, what they are trying to achieve and how your products will enable them to do that. Through coaching you need to change the aproach so that sales staff can engage with the client rather than just sit on the phone and take orders.

    If you would like to speak on a more 1-1 basis then give me a call on 07734 058283.


  8. Is there potential

    sounds like you there is an ooportunity to present an opporunity to the team your dealing with.

    The reason sales people get commission is because they generally take suspects, create prospects, put them into the sales pipeline, and hopefully close a deal to make them a client.

    Cross selling/up selling is where the client is engaged with your organisation already and needs to be persuaded to go from prospect to cleint for the ‘other’ product in a short a time as possible.

    From my experience of selling, the hardest bit is the first close for the first thing that a new client ever buys, and so long as a healthy customer service relationship is kept, it is realtively easy to qualify out or close a deal for secondary products/services.

    So your sales admin people are more like account managers/developers rather than out and out sales, so maybe you could present the new way, as ‘putting your toe in the water called sales without the responsibility of having a target on your head’.

    I would assume that of the sales admin people have specific up/cross sell close targets, then they are actually sales people so should be remunarated as such.

    If done right what you should find is that some of the sales admin people actually find it is not so bad selling to customers, that they get to want to move across to sales with a sales target.

    So their development plans offer them a career path to either sales or account development and that the route into either can be through sales admin.

    For those that only want to stay in sales admin, well not a problem so long as your organisation accepts that some people are not ready to move on yet, and only by presenting opportunities (rather than forcing a precieved career move) will people feel empowered to make their own mind up.

    Hope this helps, along with all the other good comments.

    One final point is that you give them the right skills and knowledge training to help them, expecting them to somehow self develop into a sales role is a bit of a long shot.

  9. Free adverts not allowed
    Hey Grant and Richard,

    Can we please stop with the free advertising that ads nothing to the group. You are breaking the rules of the forum (see right of page).

    We can all write …contact me offline and I promise you the earth.

    Regards and stoppit.

  10. Consultation rather than hard sell
    At the end of the day, whether your people are labelled ‘salespeople’ or ‘accounts managers’ the truth of the matter is that they are there to serve the customer in the best way possible and give them best advice.
    Teaching your staff how to do a proper fact find with the client on the phone and how to convert that into an upsell or cross sell if that is what is best for the client is the skill that is needed – good old fashioned consultative selling.
    If the selling is introduced in this way, then your staff should feel that they are learning a new skill which will benefit their clients as opposed to learning how to flog some additional services which is what will make them feel awkward.
    A really good website for personal development stuff in sales, as well as sales training info is – well worth a look for what you are looking for.
    I’d be happy to give you advice any of the above if you want to contact me direct

  11. Skills & Knowledge are great but you need people who also have t
    Hi Adam,

    I appreciate your situation and without a bit more background with regards to targets/incentives etc, it is very hard for anyone to advise you. You have some very good suggestions and I think the note posted by Pete King has some very good advice. In my personal opinion, Pete’s last comment about skills and knowledge is the partly the key to your solution. Everyone is unique and we are all wired differently, so therefore within your sales/sales admin team, some people if given the correct training (i.e. knowledge & skills) will no doubt produce better results. However, to be good in Sales or any job role for that matter, you need to have the right ‘Talents’ combined with the knowledge and Skills – Kevin McLaren’s note about how sales can be taught is correct but so can anything in theory but is doesn’t guarantee sustained success. I have had Account Managers who were great at Managing relationships, very efficient, did what they said they would etc, but they were not to quality ‘Sales people’ – On the other hand, I have had sales people that could win deals, get new business in but were poor at maintaining the relationship, what Sales Managers generally want/need is people who can excel in both areas.

    What your company is asking you to do is ‘improve bottom line results’ and you need to do this through your team by cross sell services or up-selling to your clients. I think you need to be looking for people in your team right ‘Talents’, Without these, you may improve performance a little but I doubt that you will have sustained success. I don’t think a blanket training course would solve your problem either. There will no doubt be some individuals that think ‘Hey, I could easily do a sales job, give me a shot’ others may hate being put in that situation and if forced will probably leave or become a problem for you somewhere down the line. Getting HR involved can be a good thing but this could also complicate things for you. I would be interested to know what efforts you have made to assess/understand your teams individual talents. If you would like any free advise or guidance from myself, I will be happy to speak to you about your situation. Please feel free to either give me a call on 07970 456 048 or

  12. a selling culture
    Having been involved in turning around a non-selling culture in a massive org. – one where staff were very sceptical to the whole notion of selling and being asked to do it – I would add that it is key to continually reinforce business and personal benefits of selling to staff e.g. the organisation will compete better/survive, greater satisfaction from serving customers better, etc. as well as consistent coaching support from managers and product champions in order to handle individual obstacles to implementing the PDP be they skill related or motivational.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!