Your decision to hire a sales staff to serve as a frontline for your small business also comes with the great responsibility of providing effective sales management. This will determine how big and successful your business will become in the near future. Here are some serious sales management blunders that you should avoid at all costs.
Five Sales Management Blunders in Business
1. Blurring the Line between Recognition and Coaching
Congratulating your sales personnel for a good job and moving right away into discussing areas of improvement can be very misleading. This common blunder of tactic is often interpreted as a mere lack of appreciation to their efforts. The best practice would be to separate recognition when you are coaching and save their performance improvement areas to the coaching sessions. Recognize and celebrate their success separately with its own special time; it’s these gestures that win hearts.
2. Having No Sales Plan At All
The absence of a clear sales plan in managing your sales team is like setting them off blindly with no clear idea what they must be doing. To have a highly efficient and successful sales team, you must provide them with regular planning, reviews and tracking; with every sales unit having its own action plans as a guide for its accountabilities and day-to-day sales activities.
3. The Absence of Sales Support
Another common bad decision most entrepreneurs make in business is the hiring of sales personnel; without providing support at certain levels required for them to succeed. Even if what you have under your wing is a top performer and knows everything inside out of the industry, they still need your support and attention; so they can familiarize themselves with the company, its mission, the products and the markets. Commitment to sales force training can go a long way, and it pays great dividends in the long run.
4. Putting More Focus on Control Sales Management
Unsuccessful sales managers find themselves relying on intimidation or the control approach in managing the sales operation, which can be disastrous in many ways. All good sellers know the skills that set them apart from others and you can assure yourself they will turn their backs on you if you treat them poorly. Remember that successful management of the sales operations is based on a good partnership between the sales manager and the people doing the selling. It means sharing the responsibility in making sure the sales process is running smoothly. Both ideals must be in sync with each other.
5. The Lack of Sales Accountability
There is a possibility that your reps will fail despite your support and the training they received. You may find it easy to pass it all off to external forces (strong competition, poor marketing, the crazy economy), but remember that you brought your sales rep on board to bring in the sales. If they fail despite your full support and commitment to them, then you should take a look at their performance.
And who is responsible for this lackluster performance? It’s your sales management program of course. You must create an atmosphere of firm sales accountability. At the end of the day, growing your business is pure hard work. Wearing your sales manager hat is what helps you foster that rewarding culture that builds a highly successful sales team.