The Magnificent Seven
By Sean Luce
Are you a micromanager of people? By all means, please sign up as an aide at Children's World. Although some days may seem like Children's World, sales managers are supposed to be supervising adults, not kids at a daycare center. When something goes awry in the sales department, the blame most often belongs with the sales manager. Finding skilled talent, training that talent, and implementing the process systems are the responsibility of the sales manager. In the end, accountability belongs with the leader.
If a sales manager feels that s/he needs a microscope on their top people, then they do not have the correct reps in place. Senior reps should always be held to a higher standard than the rookies. The goals will not be reached if the top reps are not setting the standards. With new sales reps, a manager should micromanage to a certain level. These steps would include monitoring their daily activity with a tracking system and short recaps with the rep at the end of the day. With the remainder of the staff, the SM needs to oversee their productivity.
Here are four steps that will take the "micro" out and put the "macro" into the management processes.
1. Weekly Planner: Be proactive, not reactive. There is not a great deal that can be done after the call, but there is a heck of a lot that can be done before the call. Weekly planners allow management to spend quality time assisting reps in developing the week's priorities and maximizing revenue potential.
2. Account Management System: Eighty-five percent of media companies in the United States do not have an account management system in place to monitor and track their top 100 accounts. This system is NOT the station traffic system. Even in the digital world, account management systems have only increased by 10 percent in the past 10 years. Do you think Cisco, UPS, or FedEx manage their accounts like media companies do? They have a systematic means of taking small accounts and increasing them into big ones. If there is a system in place, make sure that it is actually being used. Account management is the surefire way to keep reps on track and accounts from falling through the cracks.
3. In-Field Coaching: A manager must get out from behind the desk and into the field to evaluate the reps' performance. If an SM is not coaching in the field, they are not leading. Sales reps develop skills from good curbside coaching.
4. PQ Leadership: PQ is the pride quotient. Reps need to love what they are doing. More importantly, their leader needs to foster an atmosphere of fun and excitement. Never forget to give kudos to those who deserve it. Money motivates! However, recognition and rewards rank right up there with the big dollars. Recognize the small wins. It will pay big dividends later.
Don't complicate your life. Keep it simple. Listed below are 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 the systems process.
-- Know what makes your people tick.
Here is one more tip for good measure: Deliver on your promises, and watch how fast those sales goals are achieved.
Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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