You want to get the best out of your sales people to achieve your sales goals.
Here are the top 3 roles of a successful sales manager to get the best out of your sales people:
1. The Process Driver
Selling is a process, and you are the driver. A process driver just like a car driver looks for the fastest and most efficient way to final destination. Your final destination is a satisfied paid-up customer, and it is your job to clear the road blocks in the process.
The sales process depends on most of the other departments and functions in your company. If there are no cylinders the customer cannot get his product delivered. If the credit process takes too long you might lose the customer before they get delivery.
These functions are not usually under your control, but can be roadblocks in the sales process. As process driver you must take responsibility for fighting for a solution to these problems and not pass it over to someone else.
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate measurement of the sales process, and everything that is done should lead to this end. If the process time can be shortened by cutting out other tasks that do not contribute to the value of the product then a more efficient process will result.
2. The Performance Manager
As sales manager your basic responsibility is to bring out the best in your sales people and help them to be successful in achieving their goals. You have probably many other responsibilities such as budgeting, expense management and maybe your own key account, but in the end, if your sales people are successful so you are.
A good sales manager is an expert on identifying the behaviors that make sales people successful. He then manages the sales person’s behaviors, so they strive for achieving their sales goals.
So how do you manage your sales person’s behavior for achieving their sales goals?
You can change his behavior by giving frequent positive feedback.
Use this 3 step process for coaching your sales person’s behavior to achieving his sales goals:
1. Setting results oriented goals Discuss and set realistic goals with your sales person .e.g. sales increase, price increase, number of new customers
2. Performance Coaching Coaching your sales people on increasing their performance e.g. number of customer visits, number of new application presentations, number of price negotiation achieved. Performance criteria are behaviors that sales people can influence in their day to day work.
3. Coaching On-the-Job Frequent customer visits with your sales person which give you an opportunity to see him in action. This gives you an opportunity to discuss results in a positive way. A positive way is to give positive reinforcement on a regular basis and to identify changes need to be made in your sales person’s behavior as early as possible.
3. The Sales Coach
There is usually one out of two reasons why your sales person does not do what you want him to do. One is motivation and the other is that the sales person is incapable of doing his job in a professional way.
How can you help him to do his job in a professional way?
Your role as sales manager should be to give on-the-job training . On the job training in sales is to make frequent joint customer visits.
The purpose of the joint visits is to see your sales person in action and reinforce the good things that you’ll see the person doing.
Let the sales people tell you his opinion of the visit, listen first and then advise afterwards.
A coach helps people understand the problem and find solution themselves.
Avoid “telling” people what is wrong and what to do, they are looking to you for understanding and guidance. Your sales people should look forward to your coming along.
Of course on these visits you’ll find out weaknesses where more formal training is needed.
Do not be afraid to spend few dollars on re-training your sales people in selling.
Selling techniques are changing continuously…