Sales has dramatically changed within the last decade. As technology streamlines how businesses understand customer needs, so too must sales teams evolve their tactics on connecting clients with the products they love. Our Sales Representatives in Consumer Acquisition are one product of that evolution.

AT&T Sales Representatives are road warriors, providing white glove experiences right at the customer’s home with the perk of driving their own company car to make travel easier. The role is rapidly evolving, so those who join the team today are on the ground floor of a position that grows with them. We spoke with two sales experts who shared their perspectives on why they jumped in, what to expect from the day-to-day, and common traits of successful sellers.

Moving outside of the four walls

In home sales expert Debbie Hopkins

Debbie Hopkins

Before joining the team, Debbie Hopkins and Johnette Williams were already successful saleswomen in their own right. Starting as retail sales consultants, they continued delivering above expectations and eventually oversaw their own groups of retail stores. It wasn’t long before Johnette started feeling a little nostalgic about being out in the field.

“I missed being back in sales and leading a team,” said Johnette, who is now in the role of Senior Tech – Vendor Management. At the time, the company was just starting to look for its first group of sellers. “What attracted me to the position? It almost felt like a startup. In all my years, I had never worked for a new establishment.”

“This was an opportunity to lead a brand-new channel within the company,” Debbie, who has since taken her career to a Senior Product Manager role, said. “We have all this big data to help inform our strategy. No other company can do what we’re doing.”

A day in the life

“Every morning, we held a team call,” Johnette said. “We got everyone pumped up and talked about results, initiatives and success stories.” The calls are one of the few times where Sales Representatives and their teams meet in one place. Tasks of the day are largely determined by each seller. With the data available to them, they decide which home to visit (on average, five homes per day) and arrive by driving a company-owned vehicle. The autonomy is a perfect fit for closers who aren’t afraid of tackling open opportunities.

“This job has unmatched flexibility. You’re really working for yourself and controlling your environment,” Johnette said.

“The unique thing is we already have an appointment with our customers before we visit,” Debbie added. “Technicians get dispatched to customers with appointments. Our Sales Representatives go along with those technicians to provide an exceptional experience.”

Of course, opportunity doesn’t fall into anyone’s lap. Like any other sales role, Sales Representatives must prepare for challenges and objections from potential customers. It’s up to them to expect, understand and listen to find the best solution for the customer.

“We are not customer service,” Johnette stressed. “We take care of our customers, but our job is to grow the business and grow the client base. You have to create value and a sense of urgency.”

“You have to have grit and mental toughness,” Debbie said. “You’ll get way more ‘no’ than you do ‘yes’. A successful seller is someone who knows how to transition into, and close, a sale. Closing is key.”

The odds may seem stacked sometimes, but Sales Representatives have a strong support network. They can shadow their peers to understand how to approach, build and close a deal. The morning calls are another way to share learnings from the previous day.

Finally, no one is truly ever alone in the role. While the idea of walking into a stranger’s home can seem uncomfortable, Debbie and Johnette see it differently. “Part of the role is to call the technician assigned to that location and let them know you’re on the way.” Debbie said.

Taking the path less traveled

Johnette Williams

It’s not all about closing. Just like any other team at AT&T, our Sales Representatives champion our values. Debbie’s team often attends volunteering events, including a dedicated day for the homeless once a quarter and working with the Salvation Army in December. Top performers can open doors to sales positions in other fields – such as Business to Business Sales – or management positions.

If you’re interested in joining, both Debbie and Johnette recommend connecting with Sales Representatives who are on the road today.

“I urge everyone to research the sales psyche,” Johnette said. “A lot of this job is about reading body language, knowing buying signals and being a strong closer.”

“I believe this is the best position in the company and the best channel in the company,” Debbie said. “We’re making a direct impact. To quote our leadership, we’re making meaningful connections with our customers, with each other, and are focusing on personal growth.”

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