If you’ve been faced with the task of managing and motivating a sales department, you know, it can be daunting. How does one person hold a sales team accountable, how can you track what they’re doing, and where do you begin? Should you be tougher and more demanding? Do you need to micro-manage activities, or should you leave the sales staff alone and let them do their job? They’re adults, right? If you want to make an impact—become the sales teams advocate.
This year I’ve been privileged to conduct monthly individual conferences with the TKO Graphix, TKO Signs, and TKO Marketing Solutions sales teams. My role, in the conferences, has evolved into three parts.
- Numbers – Together we look at their YTD sales volume, yearly and monthly goals, monthly averages, and monthly volume needed to achieve their 2014 sales volume goal.
- Activities – We review the activities that are working, and recognize activities to improve, restart, or stop.
- Help – I’ve become their advocate by asking where they need help and following up. I can’t help with everything, and they know that, but I can always do one thing…listen.
May marked the fifth month of conducting individual conferences; it’s had a positive impact. One Salesperson needed more support staff—we’ve added two people to that department. Time Management has been a challenge for several especially learning to control interruptions including email—we’re making progress. Another is using Outlook to organize inquiry follow up. All are focused on the activities needed to reach goals and most are ahead of last year’s sales volume.
Here’s an Excerpt from May’s Report
“(NAME) His conference was a delight. I’ve never seen him more upbeat, prepared, and “into” his job. He has ½ dozen (or more) significant jobs in the works and he’s 13% ahead of last year. When asked what has changed, why he was so upbeat, he answered, “Because I’ve been following my plan, getting out of the office and going to see people.”
How to Conduct an Individual Sales Conferences
• Set goals Using a Goal Setting Form
• Track sales volume and compare to the previous year Track, Pace, and Adjust
• Pace the results and formulate numbers needed to hit the goal
• Identify Activities to continue, improve, or stop. You Cannot do a goal–You can do Activities.
• Ask how you can help
Have you tried micro-management, fear based demands, or letting the sales team flounder on their own? If you have, you may be ready to view sales management from a new perspective—coming from help. Don’t look at the sales numbers and react by only telling the sales team to do more. Set goals, dissect the numbers, and look for ways to help the team. If you want to improve sales, become your sales teams advocate. Have you managed a sales team, what worked for you?