What Makes a Successful Sales Manager Part 3?
New to Sales Management – My First Week as a New Sales Manager
Following on from my blog series discussing my journey as a newly appointed sales manager
In Part Two I posed the following questions:
1. How do I get the sales team to execute our sales process with more discipline?
2. Do I need more reps to hit the numbers or can I get more out of the existing team?
3. Should I replace my bottom two sales people?
4. Should I invest more in inside sales because they are less expensive, or will my customers reject the notion of a virtual resource?
However, before I could answer these four questions I had to consider the sales culture.
Each sales force has a personality – its culture. The culture could be defined as the genes of the sales organisation. Cultures are defined in terms of appropriate choices the members of the sales team make. All cultures are based on norms and values.
Norms and values are fundamental to the culture because they guide organisational choices and hence affect the sales force activity. A norm describes how an individual should behave when faced with a choice, whereas a value expresses how an individual should aspire or desire to behave when faced with a choice.
I had to question the cultural statement the sales team was making about their norms and values as expressed in their choices?
Choices can be as follows:
Only call on existing customers
Do what is best for existing customers
Sell existing and familiar products
Actively prospect for new business
Do what it takes to make the sale
Sell new products and services
Meet Customers regularly face to face
There were, of course, other culture defining choices which shaped the sales team. As the new sales manager I had to decide the culture of the sales team and this would be a series of decisions in conjunction with the senior management.
The recruitment process says something about the kind of people you attract.
The training programme says something about the skills, knowledge and attitude the Company deems necessary for achievement.
The criteria in the performance management and evaluation systems identify the dimensions that salespeople should regard as important.
The reward and recognition programmes define success and how the company recognises accomplishments.
I knew the basis of my strategy and in my next blog I will discuss how I changed the culture of the sales team.
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