Are You a Marketing Manager or Want to be? How Will You Manage Your “Crew?” Here are Some Tips
Marketing, sales or whatever. How are you going to get the product out?
The sales profession can be a very rewarding field. Often, however, it doesn’t take long for people to fail. The most determined people fail, and, the reason that they do is that they begin to have poor work habits.
Sales is typically a highly unstructured job so, it is easy for people to get into bad habits and to get discouraged. It is up to the sales manager to see this doesn’t happen and, the best way is through one-on-one control sessions. These sessions should control time usage as well as “specific activity measurement”.
There should be several functions that play a role in the success of a salesperson. Finding people to sell to; setting appointments; travel; study of the product(s); making presentations and, getting referrals.
The process of finding people to sell to may consist of getting leads from the company; from personal observation; from existing clients; from referred leads, or, from direct mail. Travel is the time involved, primarily, in going to appointments. It is necessary for the rep to stay abreast of changes in products or, new products added to the product line. The time spent making presentations is self-explanatory. Further, getting referred leads consists of asking people, at the end of a presentation, to give the representative the names of people they think can use their services.
The value a company has, or certainly should have, is the knowledge of what the week of a successful agent looks like. In other words, they should know that a person with average communication skills needs to do to yield a certain number of sales.
First, a person will need to make a certain number of contacts to make an appointment. It will take a certain amount of time to travel to these appointments, and, it will take a certain number of appointments to yield a sale. When this process is completed, it will take a certain number of referred leads to replace the names used for getting appointments.
Finally, it is valuable to assign “values” to all the functions. For example, the most important thing a salesperson can do is give a presentation, so, any hour spent giving a presentation would count as a “three”. A sale, the most important thing of all, would count as a five. Travel, while important, is a necessary evil and, time spent traveling would be assigned a “one”. Studying would be a “one” while setting appointments would be assigned a “two”. It should be obvious that functions directly relating to are getting the higher “values”.
At this point it is necessary to assign an acceptable number to a week’s successful activity. Arbitrarily, we might say, a successful week would be 80 points. We might have nine appointments (presentations) at three points each; two sales at five points each. The salesperson may have spent five hours studying; the salesperson may have spent two hours traveling, and, 12 hours working on appointment setting at two points each hour and, to make it easy, they got 12 referred leads at one point each.
The necessity of the manager’s involvement comes when a person has no sales, and the manager reviews their “control”, or, appointment book. The manager may find that instead of spending 12 hours trying to get appointments; they had three presentation; and fifteen hours of study time. Also, many hours of the book were not completed.
What the manager is facing here is, at best, is the possibility of poor time management; the inability to do the difficult things that need to be done (i.e. call reluctance); or confusion in how to manage time. The worst case scenario is that you have an employee who is not trying or just doesn’t care.
By spending a few minutes with a salesperson, the sales manager can see what is happening and why. Does this person need more training? “Do they need to have some assistance in the “field”? The answers can be as numerous as the people involved.
Too many sales mangers don’t have an effective tool with which to measure results. Subsequently they are on uneven ground when it comes to demanding change.
More people would survive in sales if managers would use effective and consistent tools. It costs a company a lot of money to replace employees.