So many companies blow it when it comes to sales management and there are a number of reasons for this. Often, the products or services sell themselves sell so well that the sale force becomes merely order takers, and pockets some hefty commissions. Other times, the sales department doesn’t know where it’s at, but as long as sales are up, no one bothers to give the group a second glance.
Look, whether your company is running away with the market share and sales are robust, or you are in dead last and left for dog meat, you still need to pay attention and manage your sales department, just as you would any other business unit. It’s amazing all the Six Sigma Strategies companies have for their supply chain, human resources, training, manufacturing, and how lax they can become with the sales department.
In fact, your sales department(s) can make or break your company regardless of your size. Perhaps you are a small to medium size business with only one, two, or a handful of salespeople, it still matters, indeed it could matter more – one bad month, or too many un-kept promises and your competition will be taking your best customers as their best prospects and sales soon enough.
Micro-Managing sales people can be a huge mistake, you don’t want to go there, still, the sales people must comply with the basic paperwork, or you need to streamline the process and get them some assistance. Their time should be out pressing the flesh, on the phone, and doing the relationship building they need to keep those sales coming in, propelling your quarterly profits, shareholder’s equity, and market share. Without a strong sales unit, your company is headed for rocky waters, like any cruise ship run aground.
Running a franchising company has taught me a lot about sales management, specifically; what can go wrong, and how to see the signs that something has gone astray well before it reflects in the company income statement – and I can tell you that it is imperative to pay attention and keep a watchful eye on your sales teams. Everyone running a company wants to win, it’s competitive, sales are competitive, so is attainment of market share – this is why some of the most competitive people find themselves in sales.
Thus, managing such a group is a totally different ball game than you may have been led to believe in MBA school. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and start focusing on educating yourself about sales and sales management as soon as possible.