To address issues of salespersons’ productivities an organization needs to address issues holistically. Most organizations when faced with degradation or declining orders from their sales teams look for quick fix solutions by putting sales people through a rigorous sales training program which more often than not is structured around face to face selling skills. Issues around sales management process and sales managers’ competencies are largely given a go by. In some programs the sales managers are present as observers. But that is a subject for another article.
Here let’s examine sales management and the roles that a sales manager has to perform.
If you ask a sales manager what are you managing he or she will more than likely say ‘my sales team’ which of course is true; but is it right? Will simply managing the sales team result in the sales executor achieving target; or to put it another way, is it only the sales people that have to be managed to achieve results? You may say surely a manager of people achieves results through his people, but this only works if the manager and his people know what they are trying to manage.
If you asked a production manger in a factory the same question, what are you managing, he would more than destined react among an explanation such as: ‘The production line. We take the raw material in at one end and the products go out the other. It is my job to manage that prepare to ensure we obtain the manufacturing target with ceiling efficiency moreover quality.’
Many production people conversational about managing a function where as most sales managers describe their vacancy as managing the sales team. Put alter ego way, one appears to focus on the management of people the other the process or task.
In your opinion who has the right approach? The manager who sees management as the achievement of a task, uncertainty the one who focuses on the motivation of people?
How did you respond to the question; had you already formed a strong opinion, did you find it murderous to decide between the two; or did you sit on the fence and give the defense both are right. You may have also felt ‘what does it matter qua long as the job is done and the performance pigeon is achieved.’ The hitch is it does matter, further makes the difference between the successful and unsuccessful manager.
Let’s subtract the manager who considers the isle to management is incentive and leadership. Such a manager may describe their style of management since ‘If the tribe feel happy and motivated in their job I will achieve my target. My people make it happen, nay me.’ But what will the rank and file do, how will you or they know if the job is being done effectively? Take this style to the extreme and you may have a lot of happy motivated people achieving zero. A number regarding experiments with this humanistic approach in the late 1960’s and early 1970 have produced just this inactive result.
What about the manager who focuses entirely on the task or process? He will more than likely discovery he has a very clear forgiving of what should be done, but his mankind are unlikely to be motivated to achieve their best, they will not sensible part of the process or motivated to work more effectively. To these people, their work is just a job; something you go to, come home from and receive tuition for.
In the first half of this century a sort of management, called scientific management, was surpassingly popular. Scientific management focuses on the task. People are seen as just extensions of machines that are organized around the process to work more effectively. F.W.Taylor’ who wrote a book called ‘The Principles of Scientific Management’ in 1911, is considered the precursor of this style concerning management. Scientific Management led to the development of production lines, work demarcation, time and motion studies, and piecework. It also alienated the workforces by making them feel exploited, treated as a machine or fit numbers on the payroll. Low motivation, dissatisfaction and strikes are common features of this style of management.
These days the successful manager understands there are dyad aspects to the job, the task or process, which must be understood and, the people or clique that perform the task. The key is to maintain a focus on the task whilst motivating the team to perform to the expectations of the organization. This style of care has been called, socio technical.
From this understanding three important points can be gleaned that sales managers should remember: (a) the output sales managers are amenable for is the results expected along their organizations (b) sales teams are the main resource in achieving this output (c) managing sales alliance is not the task, its one of the methods to achieve the task.
To verbreken fair to yield managers, most identify that their job includes both the management of the task and their team; this cannot indiging said for numerous sales managers. There are two reasons for this. First, the majority of management research has bot directed towards manufacturing, very little has studied sales management. Secondly, which may be as a upshot of the first, most writings on sales management focus on the inducement of the sales team? Little has been written about the sales process or management task.
Today maintaining sales volumes requires the sales teams performing at peak efficiency. To increase the efficiency of the salesperson, the organization needs to have a well-entrenched sales management process, managed by a motivated plus trained sales management team.
If your accountability is for just one piece of the marketing/sales process or the entire process your marketing/sales activities and events should result into a smooth, predictable, accountable process. In simple terms, a sales process that “manufactures” consumers as smoothly and reliably as well-managed firms manufacture products. Of course, each corporations situation and its existing marketing/sales process is unique, hence a thorough analysis has to be done to solve the sales relativity problems.
My argument is that establishing and managing a sales management process should render productivities moreover the salesperson’s efficiencies should extraneous to the profitability of the organization. Selling skill training’s impact therefore should subsist seen in the increase in profits in the balance sheet.