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Sales Management

April 1, 2004
Filed under Archives

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third part in a series of articles that describe the Four Step Management Process. It discusses ways to get organized and tips on getting things done through your sales force.

Getting organized means looking ahead at ways to successfully execute your plan. For example, to hold a weekend Open House promotion, you might need to prepare the following:

n Special signage.
n Customer incentives.
n Sales force incentives.
n Advertising art, copy and media plans.
n Rearrange your showroom displays.

Special Signage
Special signage requires having someone come in and paint your showroom windows or having some special signs or banners made.

Customer Incentives
For customer incentives, you’ll need to get the units ready that are going on sale. Last minute details must be organized regarding the methods you’re going to use to promote them ($500 off or special low-interest financing with every new unit, etc.).

Sales Force Incentives
Put in writing the incentives (if any) you plan to offer your salespeople during this sale.

Implementing Advertising Plans
Advertising is going to require getting with your agency or your newspaper, television or radio rep. This is the time to implement your ad plan (media, size, frequency, etc.).

Rearrange Your Displays
To rearrange your showroom, select the models you want to show and the manner in which they’ll be displayed. Be sure to include appropriate clothing and accessories in the plan. Use diagrams or “plan-o-grams” to create effective traffic flow patterns.

Directing Your Sales Force
The third important step in the Four-Step Management Process is Directing the Sales Force.
An important part of your job as a sales manager is directing your sales force to ensure that things get done as planned. Directing consists of instruction and motivation

Instruction
The instructing of salespeople starts by establishing a clear understanding of the objectives to be achieved. Normally, when good salespeople know they’re supposed to sell X-number of units by a specific date, they need no further instructions. However, should you need to deliver extra instructions, it is wise to have the person repeat them back to you. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings.

Motivation
The self-motivated salesperson is every sales manager’s dream. Unfortunately, like a dream come true, they are rare. But even if all your salespeople were self-motivated, they’d still need to be encouraged and recharged by their sales manager.
Selling is a tough job. It is full of rejection. More customers say “no” than say “yes.” This challenges a salesperson’s confidence. The sales manager plays an important role in maintaining a salesperson’s positive attitude and giving them courage.

Motivating Salespeople
While money is always part of a salesperson’s motivation, studies show that recognition is often more important. In fact, there are numerous ways to motivate salespeople that are more effective than money and cost little if anything.
For some people, the work itself is sufficiently motivating. They love to sell. Others are motivated by the pride found in achieving personal goals. Praise is also a great motivator for most salespeople. They want to have their accomplishments recognized.

Next Time: More about motivation

Author, speaker and educator, Gart has been retained by every major powersports manufacturer/distributor. Visit www.gartsutton.com.

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