You think you're running a tight ship? Here are five warning signs that can help you be more proactive in the way you manage your sales department. You must be open-minded, but the results could save you the experience of termination.
1) Staff Late For Meetings: This is the first surefire sign that you are losing respect and control of your staff. If they are late for your sales meeting, are they late in meeting with their customers? If the meeting is at 8 a.m., bolt the door. That loud
knocking on the door will happen only once. The others in the room will know you mean business, and it will automatically set the standards for what you expect from your sales staff. There are always excuses for being late. Allow one token tardiness; after that, there is no other excuse.
2) People Are Resigning: Remember, 25 percent of good people leave organizations every year because of lack of rewards and recognition. Not everybody works strictly for money. If people are leaving and you don't know why, have someone else interview them on their way out the door. You need to discover the reason for resignations.
3) You're Selling - All The Time: This usually happens when we are not hitting the numbers. We think we can do it best, and the compulsion to do it ourselves, instead of hiring the right salespeople, often takes over. In most cases, this demonstrates that we have a lousy perception in the marketplace for taking care of people or that we are insecure about having others succeed. If you have a staff of less than five people or you are in a small market where the job description requires you to sell, that's understandable. Otherwise, you should hire the best people possible and get out of their way. Remember, the more you sell, the more you compete with your salespeople. If you want to sell and be the top biller, ask your GM to send you back in the field.
4) Morale Is Low: The recent terrorist attacks and the economic recession may have put negative feelings in your sales reps- heads. However, bad morale can be coming from management - and it usually does. Are you keeping everyone in the loop about the company's direction? If there are rumors of a sale, are you insulating them from gossip? Energy starts at the top. Management consultant Peter Drucker says, "A manager's No. 1 job responsibility is to control his or her own energy, and No.2 is to orchestrate the energy of those around them."
5) The Numbers: In most cases, the numbers do not lie. We are ultimately judged by the bottom line, whether we are hitting our budgets. If your reps aren't hitting their budgets, maybe it's the soft economy. Then again, maybe it's you. Statistics have shown that most managers in our industry spend less than three percent of their time thinking about the future. That's crazy! No wonder we are called a month-to-month business. One of your biggest responsibilities is strategic planning. One of the best ways to find out how you're doing is let your people evaluate you. Some of your best ideas can come from the people who are on the street every day. Look at this objectively, and remember that communication is a two-way street.