Excellent Sales Manager

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					Part V

Chapter 9:

Figure 9-1:      Leadership Skills

         Intuition                   Empowerment

                        skills             Vision

“Jennifer, I thought we’d have a little chat. I don’t get the
pleasure of just talking with you very often. I guess we just
tend to spend most of our time on our problems. Good people
like you tend to be taken for granted. This is your sixth year
with us, right? I wanted to let you know that it has been a
pleasure working with you over that time. Incidentally, I was a
little surprised to hear that some of your customer reports have
been incomplete. Some of the clerks have even had to call
some of your people in order to fill in the missing information.
“I told them that you’re probably so busy out there getting us
so much business that you’re tired when it comes to the
reports. But it would save us time and money if you could be
more complete. I’m sure you’ll take better care of this in the
future. That’s what gives me so much pleasure in dealing with
pros like you. See a problem. Fix it. No big deal. Anyway, I
know you’ll take care of it.
One day in the office, you overhear one of your salespeople
being loudly abusive to a customer over the phone. Right after
he slams the phone down, you mention: “That was a pretty
heated exchange. Sounds to me as if you lost it.”
“Well, she’s a pain. She’s always complaining about one thing or
the other, none of which is important and often not true. On top
of it all, she’s rude.”
“I thought you were pretty rough, telling her that if she doesn’t
like how her orders are handled, she can take her business
“She won’t.”
“That’s not the point. We don’t get nasty with customers. Next
time that happens, and you start getting hot, I want you to tell
the customer that you’ll look into the problem and get back to
him. Hang up. Cool down. Find out what you need to know.
And then call back. Do you understand? I don’t ever want to
hear a conversation like that again.”

Describe what you see going on:
 “We agreed you’d make 16 calls per week. You’re
  averaging 11.”

Describe how you feel about what is going on:
 “I’m puzzled, I can’t tell from your reports what you’re
  doing. I’m frustrated because each time we have this
  talk you say you will live up to your end of the

Be precise in the change you want
 “One more time. I expect you to do what we’ve agreed
  on: an average of 16 calls per week.”

Mention the benefit of the change
 to the other person
 “Living up to our agreement is the only way I can give
  you a good appraisal. And you can’t afford more than
  one bad or mediocre appraisal

What does the other person see going on?
 “Yes, I know I’m not making the 16 calls.”

How does the person feel about it?
 I’m upset. In fact, I’m furious. We’ve been having all
  sorts of delivery and installation problems. It seems I
  spend half my time on the phone with the plant
  straightening out problems. I’ve called you, but you
  always seem tied up.”
What change does the other person
 desire in you?
 “I don’t call you unless the problem is very serious. So I
  would like you to get back to me when I’ve got a problem
  that I think it serious enough to bother you with.”

What are the benefits of the change
 for the other person?
 “There are at least two. I produce better, because I have
  time. And the company has better customer relations,
  because I know that other people in the field have also
  experienced my kind of problem.”
 Assessment - examination of the customer environment
  in which the company operates.
 Redesign - initiatives based on three interrelated tasks:
    Customer orientation - know customer buying process.
    Sales strategy - deployment of sales resources and buyer
    Selling processes - determined by the segment of buyer.
 Measurement - determine the indicators of successful
 Sales Support Programs - programs to support and
  reward implementation of the change program.
 Implementation Strategies - pilot test programs.
How Change Oriented are You?

To find out to what degree you like change, use the
following scale in responding to the following eighteen
statements. There is no right or wrong answer. Rather, the
intent is to help you explore your attitudes toward change.

SA   =   Strongly Agree
A    =   Agree
?    =   Undecided
D    =   Disagree
SD   =   Strongly Disagree
How Change Oriented are You?

1. I try new ideas and new approaches
                                          SA A ? D SD
   to problems.
2. I take things or situations apart to
                                          SA A ? D SD
   find out how they work.
3. I can be counted on by my friends to
                                          SA A ? D SD
   find a new use for existing methods.
4. Among my friends, I’m usually the
                                          SA A ? D SD
   first person to try out a new idea.
5. I demonstrate originality.             SA A ? D SD
6. I like to work on a problem that has
                                          SA A ? D SD
   caused others great difficulty.
How Change Oriented are You?
7. I plan on developing contacts with
   experts in my field located in           SA A ? D SD
   different companies or departments.
8. I plan on budgeting my time and
                                            SA A ? D SD
   money for the pursuit of novel ideas.
9. I make comments at meetings on
                                            SA A ? D SD
   new ways of doing things.
10. If my friends were asked, they
                                            SA A ? D SD
    would say I’m a wit.
11. I seldom stick to the rules or follow
                                            SA A ? D SD
12. I discourage formal meetings to
                                            SA A ? D SD
    discuss things.
   How Change Oriented are You?
13. I usually support a friend’s suggestion
                                               SA A ? D SD
    on new ways to do things.
14. I probably will not turn down
                                               SA A ? D SD
    ambiguous job assignments.
15. People who depart from the accepted
    organizational routine should not be       SA A ? D SD
16. I hope to be know for the quantity of
    my work rather than the quality of my      SA A ? D SD
    work when starting a new project.
17. I must be able to find enough variety of
                                               SA A ? D SD
    experience on my job or I will leave it.
18. I am going to leave a job that doesn’t
                                               SA A ? D SD
    challenge me.
How Change Oriented are You?

Give yourself the following points for each circled response.
SA = 5 points
A = 4 points
? = 3 points
D = 2 points
SD = 1 point

Total your scores for all responses. The higher the score, the
more willing you are to be innovative and welcome change.
A score of 72 or greater is high; a score of 45 or less is low.
Innovative people like to create change; non-innovators
have a tendency to maintain status quo.
Figure 9-2:               Four Leadership Styles

    Supportive Behavior   Supporting       Selling

                          Delegating       Telling

    Lo                      Directive Behavior       High
Figure 9-4:
Internal Systems of a Group


       Norms                 Interactions

  Leadership Factors in Sales Management
                              Sales Manager
SKILLS                          POWER               STYLES
 Empowerment                    Legitimate         Directing
 Intuition                      Reward             Coaching
 Self-understanding             Coercive           Supporting
 Vision                         Referent           Delegating
 Value Congruence               Expert

     Sales Team
                                                        Situation
     Activities              Salesperson’s             Task structure
     Interaction
                                Behavior                Time pressure
     Norms
                                                        External system
     Sentiments

                       Salesperson
                       Professional maturity
                       Needs
                       Goals
                       Relationship with manager
“Jose Guerrilla”
You are the boss with the title, rank, experience,and all the
accountability that comes with the job. You have the feeling that
your salespeople are not following many of your orders. You
wonder if you are becoming paranoid. Although you are the
formal leader, an informal leader has emerged. It’s Jose

Deliberately or not, he has become influential, even playing
amore dominant role than you. Jose is one of your top
salespeople, but is behaving like an underground rebel. The
group’s overall performance is quickly dropping. Is there a

You must correct the situation soon. You do not want to lose
Jose, he is a valuable salesperson, besides you really like Jose.
Ground rule #1, you have got to turn the situation around. Why
did an informal leader emerge? How do you handle Jose? What
can you do to prevent this from reoccurring?
“Jose Guerrilla”

1. Get the group together and remind them that you are the boss. Tell
   them like it or not the ignoring of your orders must and will stop.
2. Take Jose aside and tell him you “appreciate” the “help” in managing
   the group. Tell Jose that by pulling together, you can make the
   situation work out right for everyone.
3. Let nature take its course. Sit back and let Jose make a big mistake
   that will cause him to lose favor with the group.
4. Take time to get to know Jose. When you know his career objectives
   you will probably find that he is not after your job. Use Jose to make
   your communications between yourself and the group more efficient.
5. Talk to each member of the sales team separately. Let them know
   that you know what is going on and that it is tantamount to
“Jose Guerrilla”

6.   Appeals to the authoritarian manager but disregards the possibility
     that the problem is that your interpersonal communication skills are
     to blame.
7.   Jose may not admit to being the guerrilla, but if he does and accepts
     the bribe that you offer, the possibility that another member of the
     group will assume the role cannot be ruled out.
8.   Highly risky and puts your rear in the frying pan as well as Jose’s.
9.   Jose could become a valuable link between you and your team and
     possibly help you define interpersonal problems and help you
     suggest possible solutions.
10. This solution might work with an unschooled or unskilled labor force
    but not with the highly productive members of your sales team.
Effectiveness in Selling New
Ideas or Programs

Are the Following Statements True or False?
1. You should try to sell an idea to the "natural" leaders
2. Thoroughly explaining the reasons for a change will
   invariably turn resistance into cooperation.
3. Getting to know your people well is one of the best
   ways to obtain control over their resistance to change.
Effectiveness in Selling New
Ideas or Programs

Are the Following Statements True or False?
4. It's usually better to hold a meeting to address the
   entire sales force about a change that will affect
5. You should inform your sales force as far in advance
   as possible about changes that will affect them.
6. When you propose a program or an idea, you are
   unlikely to encounter resistance except on the most
   important issues involved.

Situation    Important Points
Prior to     1.   Who is being called on?
Sales Call
             2.   What happened last time?
             3.   Objective of call?
             4.   Objections may arise?
             5.   How to handle objections?
             6.   Who are key players?
             7.   Developmental points last call?

Situation    Important Points
During the   1.   Let salesperson control the call.
sales call
             2.   Answer necessary questions briefly.

After the    1.   Ask for self-evaluations.
sales call
             2.   Reinforce positive.
             3.   Suggest effective responses.
             4.   Keep records.
Additional Suggestions for
Coaching Salespeople

1. Instead of criticizing them, repeatedly tell salespeople
   what you like about their performance.
2. Help salespeople improve by giving them “how to”
3. Insist that salespeople evaluate themselves in order
   to develop their evaluative abilities regarding their
   own work habits and performance.
4. Ask questions to ensure the salesperson is actively
Additional Suggestions for
Coaching Salespeople

5. Make the most of resources that are available to you,
   such as special training materials and so on.
6. An agreement between you and the salesperson should
   be arrived at regarding corrective actions to be taken.
7. Keep records of specific standards of performance,
   including how performance will be measured and by
   what date.
8. The salesperson should be shown these records when
   they are written to avoid any misunderstandings.
  Table 9-1:
  Sales Managers’ Rankings of the Causes
  of Plateauing Among Salespeople
                                         Mostly   Commission
                               Overall   Women       Only
No clear career path             1         2          4
Not managed adequately           2         4          1
Bored                            3         3          5
Burned out                       4         1          2
Economic needs met               5         7          3
Discouraged with company         6         5          6
Overlooked for promotion         7         6          8
Lack of ability                  8         9          7
Avoid risk of management job     9         10         9
Reluctance to be transferred     10        8         10
“Hot Shot”
When asked the question, “Are you a winner?” Hot Shot answers, “Well,
how did you know?” When dealing with this type of personality it is best
to keep a cool head.
Although she is a top salesperson, meeting or beating quotas, she is
clearly a victim of tunnel vision. High productivity is a great asset to have
in an employee, but she believes that this asset alone is reason for a
managerial position.
Hot Shot has heard an incorrect rumor that a district sales manager
position is opening and believes that she deserves the job. She shows
no tact in letting everyone know her feelings. History has shown that
although she is an excellent salesperson, she is quite a loner. In your
opinion she isn’t ready for a job with the responsibilities of a district sales
manager. You have a reputation of being fair and rewarding outstanding
“Hot Shot”
There is not need to change your style now, but you have just received a
letter from Hot Shot. She is very direct and states, “I have worked long
and hard for this company and have always been the top salesperson. I
have no complaints at all about salary, or the commission and bonus
plans. I want you to recognize that I feel I am totally ready for a sales
manager’s job, the next one that opens up. It is important for me to tell
you that if this company cannot use my talents, I have only one choice to
make. What say?”
The letter enrages you but you realize that you cannot fire her or give
her a job that does not even exist. In fact it is your job to keep her self-
esteem and energy as a salesperson intact since your job depends on
the productivity of your sales force. Your boss wants to know exactly
how you are going to handle this one.
“Hot Shot”
1. Make a sincere promise to Hot Shot that she will get
   the next manager's spot that opens.
2. To give Hot Shot more recognition you send her and
   her husband to the national sales convention with
   the company picking up the tab.
3. Do not let the other salespeople think you give into
   ultimatums. You consider the letter as a letter of
   resignation and let Hot Shot go.
4. Make special managerial training available to the
   sales group. Tell Hot Shot that when an opening
   becomes available her excellent sales record along
   with the techniques learned in the course will place
   her among the top applicants.
“Hot Shot”

1. Hot Shot has every reason to take your promise
   seriously a problem that arises if at the time a position
   opens you think another member of the sales team is
   better suited for the job.
2. Some will consider this “industry bribery”. Hot Shot
   could construe this to be an insult since she clearly
   stated that she was happy with the money and benefits
   she was already receiving.
“Hot Shot”

3. A good sales manager is as hard to find if not harder to
   find than a good sales representative. If you allow Hot
   Shot to leave, one of your competitors will doubtless
   hire her immediately, leaving you with a stronger
   competitor and a weaker sales team.
4. Probably the best choice. You explain to Hot Shot that
   the criterions used to choose the next sales manager
   will include: sales record, group interaction, and effort
   put forth in seminars, workshops, home study, and
   night courses.
Termination Suggestions

 Establish a paper trail.
 Reasons for termination should be specifically
  spelled out.
 When possible, offer an attractive severance
  package and outplacement services.
 The firing session should be brief.
 The firing session should be held at the
  beginning of the week.
Table 9-2:
Women in Sales: Percentages by Industry
                                 Percent of Women
   Industry                          In Sales Force
   Banking                                    24.7
   Business services                          30.3
   Chemicals                                   9.1
   Communications                             34.7
   Educational services                       50.4
   Electronics                                19.6
   Food products                              28.5
   Health services                            45.1
   Insurance                                  27.4
   Miscellaneous manufacturing                17.6
   Office equipment                           24.1
   Printing/publishing                        38.9
   Retail                                     20.0
   Rubber/plastics                            17.7
   Transportation equipment                   23.9
   Wholesale (consumer)                       19.5
   Average                                    24.3
Harassment Suggestions

1. Conduct yourself professionally.

2. Dress appropriately.

3. Be cautious when drinking at business functions.

4. Don’t listen to sob stories.

5. Avoid being alone when possible.

6. Use independent transportation.

7. Trust your instincts.

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