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02
Jul
2009

This is the world of dynamic changes. We can plan things today but when we put our plan in the market a day after things start changing. Strategic planners are always up to these changes. They convey the adjusted guide lines to the executors.

Sales function of any company is of vital importance. Sales head or mangers must be rationale and leader enough to charge their teams, rather than pushing them merely towards targets accomplishment.

We need to understand the mood, psychology and the needs of our sale team. The best sales manager is the one who knows his sales team to the extent that his ordinary sales guy can rock the market extra in ordinary manner. May times Sales managers are ineffective in communicating to the top management about the realistic targets. Yes it is true that companies use to run by finance and money but if the possibility of the variable is lesser in the market, it is really foolish to chase it. If the sales manager has enough courage to let the top management aware to the exact ground situation so they can adjust their sales target and cost structure parallel. It is far better than showing good dreams that can never comes true. Yes if you have best folks with you in the sales team, you can think but it is anyways better to keep their energies for more refined endeavors.

It is really easy to have many people in sales team in normal easy go environment. The time when the environment is volatile you need to have SALES FOLKS rather than mere people. It is really essential that you make division in your sales team. You need to have a special squad who would be responsible for hard targets only. They would be the people who are good in reading clients, market and situation. If your sales team is the mix of donkeys and horses and they work together the chances are more of having no horses neither donkeys in the hard times. This gives you a sense that segmentation with in the sales team structure is of vital importance. You can say why we would have donkeys; we can have horses only. So my dear if you are having all the horses, it involves cost and many times we need lower profile people for easy targets. Those sales managers who use their top sales guys in attaining easy targets are simply trying to depreciate the capability of these folks. In my view it is not only in case of sales, any manager who take ordinary work from their best people looses their points for big games. Just one thing to clarify, Donkey and Horses are the examples to show the class. Please don’t take it on heart if you are feeling any of you to be adjusted in the created frame. Anyways in real life donkeys can not become horses but they can produce. In business a donkey can become lion even. It is all about your will to learn and you thirst to excel. The bottom line is simple, the sales manager have to have teams (not one team) to manage target of different qualities.

When the environment is volatile, there are more chances of getting quality feed back from the market. It is the time when consumers are thinking about new things or the way they want to see the product or they want new way of acquiring that product. It is the responsibility of the sales manager and sales directors to have close contacts with sales people. Their target has to be reduced and their feed backs need to be implemented in the product and marketing campaign as quick as possible. Many time we use to waste the time and some one else in the market implement the success. It is not companies who defines the product but clients. We are not making quality stuff that clients are not seeking to purchase. A company can introduce an innovative product that is more targeted to change the life styles and thinking of the targeted clients when the market has enormous purchasing power. You can also create a purchasing power by innovation in pricing and costing strategies.

It is also not better to abruptly reduce the monthly targets of the sales team when you observe the environment starts distorting. You better need to make it quarterly targets. If there is any possibility remains to manage current target, the sales person will definitely run for it otherwise you can see via reporting structure that his quarterly targets are not in line. This would be the time when you can cut his target for next two months. Anything that is i.e. given by you has a clear effect on the psychology of sales person. He is not a machine but a human being who reacts. So don’t enforce any thing that reduces the utilization of his potential.

It is far better, even in normal circumstances to make a mechanism of targets floating with performance. Your finance and accounts need to be strong enough to calculate the clear bottom line moving with management decisions. It is obvious that all the people in the sales team are not superman. You need to develop a strategy in line with your work force psychology. Every one likes lesser targets and highest returns. Top management need to focus on market image and returns only. These two psychologies (management and team) have to be processed by accountants (MIS or Management Accounting Wing) on software to develop a mechanism in which as quick the sales person attains his monthly target on daily basis, his monthly target will be reduced or he will get an incentive. It will work multidimensional. If a person work good run rate in the beginning to achieve the big target in anticipation of target reduction, he would like to take a sound start. Once he will get his momentum then reduce target shall not be his focus but any thing above target. It simply means you are doing nothing but tuning your sales folk by a strategy that involves more psychology and calculation. Sales are all about understanding psychology and calculation. You need to give more variables to your sales team then one close end strategy whereby he can develop his self-strategy also to manage things.

There are many sales managers who want to know each and every thing that a sales folks performs in his day. I recommend, you can do this with you wife and children back at home. Please leave your sales folks free, so they can have their own creativity and adjustment. Targets and general directions are enough for a sales person to be in battle field. He is the person who is working on commission income so he better want to do good job. He needs direction and motivation from a manager but the he need to develop the working strategy by himself. This is highly essential to his creativity and self confidence. If it is in my hand I would stop sales managers calling sales people to know what is going on. Anyways if sales folk need him so he can contact him any time. Calling sales person for every half an hour to track him is not more than a stupidity. If he takes some time out to take snacks or date a girl. Let him do it if you can manage your two wives from the office so don’t worry, he can manage also. You need to concern more on targets rather than accounting each minute of your sales guy.

In fact my focus is more in involving my sales people in life and society. If they will have 5 children, 2 girl friends etc so they will run for targets more than anyone. They need to have a strong personal life to be a good sales person. This is the way sales become personal for them. As per my experience I have seen married sales people more effective or bachelors with more social responsibilities. If we are the manager we need to look all these attributes while making our sales team. We also need a free environment with in sales team by promoting one guru with in the team other than manager. Each guy in the sales team is a separate study. This is a manager’s job to study them perfectly so he can position their capabilities to get the best out of it.

Sale is very sensitive business function. Sales Department needs to be the most electric and young in approach and attitude. They must need to be lead by thinker (strategist) not hyper. It is not necessary that sales person is responsible for low sales level. May be it is a failure of your own strategy or environment. There must be no ego concept in business, the mistake committed by CEO or a clerk is same and it needs rectification rather than punishment.

Sales manager need to be strong enough in the team in term of knowledge of market, people and product, so he can lead the team to success. It is the responsibility of the directors to power good sales people upward on managerial level. You can get good sales manager from the market but if you promote good guys with in the team, they can better understand the team and corporate structure. It is far better to hire consultants for the knowledge enhancement of the team. But the team needs to be freest in their working. They will have no boss but one good leader who will sit with them rather than having a big cabin or room. It is all about creating environment, not a status quo. Management of sales team or any other team depends upon leader or manager’s will to accept failures as his own and success as a team’s glory. This is how you will learn more and this is how you will have great respect among the team members.


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Mr. Omer

Mr. Omer [1982 born] started  his professional career as a commercial / investment banker after achieving Gold Medal in Finance at master level from University of Karachi in 2006.

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