If you want to micro-manage people, sign up as an aide at Children's World. You're not running a day-care center; you're managing a team of adults. When things go wrong in the sales department, it's usually because we, as SMs, are to blame. Lack of skilled talent, training and process systems are our fault. In the end, the blame falls on us.
If you have to pull out a microscope on your top people, then either you are paranoid, or you have the wrong people. Senior reps should always be held to higher standards than rookies. Your requirements will not be met if your top people are not setting the standards.
With new sales reps, you will have to micro-manage to a certain level, namely, monitoring their daily activity with daily call reports or short end-of-day recaps. With the rest of the staff, you need to manage productivity. Here are four steps that will take the "micro" out and put the "macro" into your management process:
- Weekly Planners: Be proactive, not reactive. There's not much you can do after the call, but there's a heck of a lot you can do before the call. Weekly planners allow you to help and spend quality time in planning (the No. 1 deficiency of sales reps) an "individual needs" analysis. (For a copy of this work plan, please e-mail the address below.)
- Account Management System: Ninety-five percent of the Radio stations in America do not have any kind of account management systems in place to monitor and track their top 100 accounts. Do you think Cisco, UPS or FedEx manage their accounts like Radio stations do? No. They have systematic ways of taking small accounts and making them into big ones. Whatever system you use, make sure you actually use it. This is a sure-fire way of keeping accounts from falling through the cracks.
- In-Field Coaching: Are you managing your team from behind the big oak desk, or are you out in the field, watching how your reps perform? If you're not coaching in the field, you're not leading. The development of skills by sales reps comes from good curbside coaching.
- PQ Leadership: PQ is the pride quotient. Do your reps love what they are doing? More important, are you fostering an atmosphere of fun and excitement? Never forget to give kudos to your people when deserved. Money motivates; however, recognition and rewards are up there with the big dollars. Recognize the small wins. It will pay big dividends later.
Don't complicate your life. Keep it simple. Here's the Management Magnificent Seven:
- Hire people better than you are.
- Give them superior training.
- Offer them upward mobility.
- Create a fun and rewarding environment.
- Reward success.
- Execute your systems process.
- Know what makes your people tick.
Add one more for good measure: Deliver on your promises, and you'll reach your sales goals faster.