By Rob Rainwater
When asked to write a short article for the magazine, I was able to discuss any topic I wanted. After joining Profit Team Consulting in April, I have spent the last six months working with salespeople and sales managers for a majority of the time. I have listened to thousands of phone calls and had hundreds of training sessions, and what have I learned from this? Well, it is still something that I have known for the last 25 years and have failed at myself as a sales manager.
We have no plan, no protocol, and no clue on how to train, motivate, and mentor a new salesperson!
The best we do is teach them the basics of our yard management system, phone, production, and distributions systems and wish them good luck. Then we don’t understand why they struggle to perform to our expectations. We just complain about them while doing nothing to help them, wait about two years, and start all over again, if we’re lucky.
Does this sound like a familiar pattern with your sales team? So, how do we fix the problem? How do we change the culture of our sales teams?
The culture starts at the top and works its way to the bottom. The biggest mistake I see is there are no expectations set on any level at most companies. There are no measurements of these expectations, and no consequences put in place. We find ourselves caught up in the day-to-day and not enough time is spent on a plan. It may sound cliché, but a goal without a plan is just a wish, and I see it so much in our industry. We are working at our businesses and not running them!
Goals must be set in every phase of your business and a plan must be put forth to achieve these goals. For our purposes here, we will focus on sales, since the question posed is, do you really employ sales professionals?
TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING.
We do not spend enough time working alongside our sales staff to create the culture we are looking for. You should have:
- A 12- to 18-month program designed to guide a new salesperson on their path to success.
- Expectations should be laid out throughout the whole process along with how we will measure those expectations.
- Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly sales goals should be set, increasing as their experience does.
- The goals should not just be a number; they need to be broken down by in-stock sales, brokered sales, warranty sales, freight, core, etc.
- The training should include understanding these numbers and why they are so important to their success and the company’s success.
- Outbound calls, customer retention, and building a new customer base also need to be measured as a part of their growth.
If you don’t have something as basic as this in place, there is no time like today to start your team on a path to success.
The Exponential Returns Gained by Investing in Your People
Here are a few words to let sink in from Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager.
“About 70 percent of a company’s expenses go on paying their employees’ salaries. Even though this is the case, very few companies actually invest in developing their employees. This is because most managers do not make the connection between their employees and the bottom line.
“At a fundamental level, the fortunes of the business rise and fall with its employees. They are the ones who create the products, make the deals, sell the inventory. Your job as the leader of the organization is ultimately to manage your employees and oversee that this all gets done and done well. With effective management, you will steer your business and develop your employees into productive, assertive and skilled individuals.”
The bottom line is you must invest in your people at every level of your business. This investment must continue; you can never stop making your team better. I have always looked at it like I was the coach of a sports team, it is up to me to make our good players great! So, you want a team of sales professionals at your company?
It’s up to you to build one!
With 30 years in automotive recycling, Rob Rainwater is a Strategic Business Consultant with the Profit Team Consulting. His talent lies in transforming industry businesses into multi-million-dollar companies. His focus is in the development of strong leaders, teams, and automatic profit centers. Rob can be reached at 518-257-0663 or email@example.com