Investing in a sales team internship program can help you attract rising talent and provide valuable resources for tasks such as prospect and competitive research and content upgrading. It can be a great way to vet up-and-coming talent and help you fill entry-level positions with individuals you know and trust. If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, but don’t know where to start in terms of how to delegate tasks that are both beneficial for you and the intern, here are a few suggested assignments to add to your sales intern job description or list of intern responsibilities.
As you know, companies that are consistently winning business and landing major accounts are backed by strong prospect research. Research is vital to any business’s success as it’s important to understand what’s happening at a prospect’s company, who the team and decision-makers are, and the industry trends that influence their business. But it’s not easy to keep an up-to-date list of the competitors in your space with all the other priorities clamoring for your attention. Sales interns can be a starting point for conducting research, taking a deep dive into helping you understand the profile of a specific company or contact. Make sure to add to your sales intern job description that they will be given the opportunity to develop or update a template for recording competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, significant customer logos, and online presence. This will help you and your colleagues immensely while providing an opportunity for your interns to cultivate a critical skill, understand what information sales reps need and to make a valuable contribution to your overall sales process.
Today’s sales process is heavily driven by content. Without a single point of coordination, many sales departments lack a consistent message. Without the sharing of best practices, it can be a missed opportunity to capture the messaging that’s resonating with the marketplace. There is always room for innovation and improvement, especially with your intern’s help.
A sales intern can help you conduct an audit of your sales collateral and sales enablement materials, including determining how they’re used and where there might be opportunities for deeper alignment. You could ask your sellers to forward all emails, stories, and successes to your intern so they can be cataloged. Depending on the level of understanding of the intern, they could also conduct a survey to proactively source additional best practices from your reps. Also, consider developing an ongoing internship project to help your sales team get its content organized and on-brand.
Sales Tools Analysis
If you find yourself following up six months or a year after implementing a new tool, only to find out few salespeople are actually using it, you can feel as though company resources are being wasted. This is a good opportunity to do a bit of analysis. A task you could delegate to your intern is to have them develop a profile of each tool you’ve invested in, and have them write up a report on usage, what the team likes and dislikes, and a brief summary of the ROI, like qualitative or quantitative research, depending on the kind of data accessible. This is one of those tasks that need to get done but don’t always make it on to your to-do lists.
Sales Experience Tasks
For an intern working in sales, finding unique ways to contribute will definitely add to their skill set. As an employer, it’s important to remember that aspiring sales interns want real exposure to talking with clients. Consider adding to your sales intern job description and task list some cold calling rotations. You can also invite them to sit in on presentations. Depending on their skill level, rotating them into your sales team in a more hands-on way might make sense. But don’t miss the opportunity to get them some exposure and practice if it makes sense with their abilities and your agenda.
Account Profile Development
Whether it’s a current customer or a high-value prospect, it can be helpful to have research on key accounts. Interns can search online for recent news or changes and build out the organizational chart. You might also have them talk to the account managers to identify and record any characteristics that make this organization such a high-value account.
Providing Sales Rep Support
There’s a layer of support between administrative work and the day-to-day role of the sales rep. This support could involve providing help customizing presentation templates, gathering relevant sales materials for an upcoming conversation, and tracking down specific statistics and research. Pairing an intern and a sales rep can help immerse the intern into the sales process while giving your team support that enables them to get more done.