Improvisation is unfortunately installed in the management of commercial equipment, from the appearance of these until today.
This statement would not be so worrying if only occurs in family businesses where such management is conditioned by the human resources available, but it is when it happens in large firms and / or multinationals. In the first case, it is to some extent understandable and given the lack of organizational complexity and, therefore, faster communication, even this simple article can help design the solution humbly. More serious and complex your solution is when this occurs in large companies when improvisation becomes a method and ignorance of the basics in the direction of commercial equipment is, at least, worthy of analysis.
The first cornerstone for the optimal operation of commercial equipment design and procurement is failing or adaptation of existing equipment to the real needs of the company. Once, at a forum on business management proposed a debate on what was most important at the time of hiring a salesperson, quality or provenance sector. I remember that most responses were inclined to give priority to the quality of the seller; on the other hand, the rest defended the experience in the sector. In addition, all were right! However, the real purpose of the debate was to reflect how none of the two proposals was exclusive, that the important thing was that the person responsible for hiring first fully knows the characteristics and needs of the company (if so could prioritize), and secondly to know in depth the functions to be performed by the person interviewed. (If possible having got previously performed by unusual practice, unfortunately).
Once designed (number of vendors, type, organization, support etc …) and hired equipment must be designed customer base, exposing how to manage and define how customer visits must be made. The quantity and quality of time spent preparing these tools will guarantee success for the sales team and the person to lead it.
On these actions are some parameters that should not be ignored under any circumstances.
In the design of the customer base should define the minimum and maximum optimal customer classification Marketing and customer segmentation must be performed.
On portfolio management, an annual budget should be by portfolio and client. If we have historic budget prospects to make for your feedback. The method of monitoring and analysis must be defined.
Be budgeted the optimal number of visits to be made based on each company / sector and form the seller to perform visits maximum quality respecting phases: preparation, execution, analysis and prospecting.
Then I will discuss some real cases of how not managed part of the information presented and, unfortunately, some managers use for different reasons.
Once, following a lecture, I had the opportunity to comment on the difficulty of a certain sector trade selecting a commercial director. His reply astonished me. I do not have this problem – I need two commercial said if I choose to five and some of them will be worth it. Incredible but true. What some will seem an expensive practice for the company and little respect for people is still a common practice for some companies?
On another occasion, I had the opportunity to work as an external consultant for a distribution company. At the time of going into detail of the general budgets, vendor and customer, the CEO of the company told me: I will not complicate this issue; I make a general budget and divide the objectives on the fly, as it suits me. I was talking about their vendors, their objectives, and their results, but it seemed. Professionalism and business acumen of some leaders are more than doubtful.
Months later, in a multinational firm that had a chance to meet the CEO of the teaches decided to direct commercial operations, with the aim of reducing command structure. Obviously, the problem may occur when knowledge is not enough. Therefore, it happened. This time, the manager mistook the number of visits productivity and prioritized the number of visits to its quality. Of course, I did not know how to get the optimum number of visits to perform them with sufficient quality and, therefore, higher productivity.
This basic business management errors are common practice in some companies due in some cases to improvisation and lack of knowledge.
Once we have designed our basic tools for managing the sales team, they must feed on training for our business. A formation that must be planned and adapted to our specific needs and to assist the internal promotion of the company whenever this is possible. To this should be based, stable and professional. Few companies have implemented a Performance Management System, little use it effectively assess and manages many skills…. Unfortunately, very few.
In these times where education law seems to be adapted to political ideologies and not the defined needs with consensus and stability, we must reflect on what kind of training we are doing in our businesses, and especially if the people responsible for planning what kind of training should take place, they are sufficiently prepared to decide.
Adversity gives you strength
How can you stay self-motivated and productive in the midst of turbulent times and a slow economy? How persevere as a salesperson when times are tough and customers seem to cling to every penny for fear of economic uncertainty?
Each challenge, setback and personal difficulties in life also bring with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. The key to overcoming adversity is to avoid the temptation to panic and instead, focus on finding the most benefit. Adversity should never beat him, but must be the cause to strengthen their character or increase their determination.
During the early years of World War II Nazi submarines, known as wolf packs operating in the icy North Atlantic waters with impunity plunged an alarming number of British military ships and merchant ships. Hitler was convinced that these actions could block its submarines England and eventually starve the British people then ask their surrender.
In the summer of 1940, while the Battle of Britain is playing throughout London, the Germans sank mercilessly over 300 British military ships and merchant ships. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, fearing negative repercussions for these devastating losses may have on the morale of the nation, ordered retains information to the British people. In an effort to reduce the appalling number of casualties lost at sea, Churchill ordered the Royal Navy to study and determine, in any case, as could be done to save more lives during the rescue at sea.
When interviewing survivors made an interesting discovery, to complete astonishment, the researchers found that the survival rate for younger, presumably more physically fit sailors was significantly lower compared to their older colleagues. The study concluded that older sailors had a significantly higher survival rate because they were more prepared to overcome adversity and, therefore, had developed greater confidence in being rescued sailors younger, less experienced.
The director of the research project, Kurt Hahn, was so moved by this discovery that created the Outward Bound program, Hahn designed the program Outward Bound, using a series of increasingly tough challenges, to mentally and physically prepare young British sailors to face adversity naval combat. Today, the Outward Bound program works with troubled youth to help them develop greater confidence and self – esteem.
I find it interesting that people who face a similar adversity often experience very different results. Some people are weak, some are hardened and some become stronger. If you put a carrot, an egg and a coffee bean in a pot of boiling water, each reacts in a completely different way to their conditions. The carrot comes in the pot of boiling water and soft leaves; fragile egg enters and leaves hardened while the coffee bean becomes coffee infusion releasing its flavor and aroma.
Sell in these difficult times requires determination and personal strength. Having the will to persevere in difficult times is a feature that is commonly found among the millionaires who made themselves. Are you a persevering in adversity or gives up quickly? The last time he failed, he stopped trying because he failed and then stopped trying.
Thomas Edison documented 10,000 failed attempts to develop the electric light bulb. A reporter asked the great inventor how it felt to have failed 10,000 times trying to invent the light bulb. Edison replied, “Young man, I did not fail 10,000 times trying to invent the light bulb, I simply documented 10,000 different ways because they do not work.” Imagine how different our world would be today if Edison had been a coward.
You should expect to find detours, roadblocks, and potholes on the road of life. The next time you face adversity, learn from it and know that it is becoming a much stronger person because of it.
Stockholm syndrome Seller
The enhancement of relational seller by companies has clearly left exposed a pathology that has always existed, but that companies do not always know or know how to identify.
The business relationship of enterprises, from a certain size, with customers, is done through vendors. This means that in most transactions the seller is the link between the company and the customer and vice versa.
The company offers the seller a customer base that it must maintain, grow and provide feedback. In some cases, the seller must form their own portfolio.
We expose for the main roles of the different actors:
- The company must provide the means for the transaction and the seller pays a salary manager to do it (this is usually composed of a fixed plus variable).
- The seller must perform successfully selling the product or service, under the conditions set by the company (including in some cases a margin trading), and, therefore, a salary from the company.
- The customer receives the product or service, hired the seller, and by the company and, therefore, the company pays the agreed price.
It is defined as the seller receives a salary from the company to offer a customer of a service portfolio and receives a supplement company (commission) if you make transactions successfully agreed. The seller must respect the conditions established by the party who pays and try to get the greatest possible benefit for this part. By the time the vendor comes to confuse this principle and try to benefit the client without the real need to close the transaction may be suffering from Stockholm syndrome seller.
Posed this, we can establish the definition of Stockholm Syndrome seller, as the confusion of the roles of the company and the customer in a business relationship, providing or attempting to provide an unnecessary benefit to the customer over the conditions set by the company it is who pays.
The person of the business organization that can identify this syndrome in the seller more easily is responsible for relating to the vendor in their daily operations, i.e. the sales manager, sales manager, owner etc…
The profile of the seller usually suffers from this syndrome usually the seller with more than three to five years experience (minimum to get to establish a more personal relationship with the client) and difficulty achieving compliance with its objectives. This does not mean we should discard the other vendors that do not meet this profile, but the syndrome will not be so easily.
The most common performance parameters are, among others, ask many budgets, losing money a large number of these budgets, provide many lower prices competition without documentation, ask to lower the price below the minimum established or otherwise lose offer, defend recurrently client’s position against the company. at the time that these actions are recurrent in a minimum period of time, from the six to eight weeks means that 90% of cases the seller suffers Stockholm Syndrome I should be contrasted immediately the information provided by the affected vendor to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to note that when the seller really suffers Syndrome may lose if these operations are not performed with the price cut ordered by him, although the reduction is unnecessary.
Currently, the company (owner, sales manager, director) direct relationship with the customer is fundamental. The strategy of the business address at this point is very important, first to limit any doubt about the eternal question of whether the client belongs to the company or the seller, “The customer is a company asset managed by the seller”. Secondly, and most important for our case, to have enough relational trust with the customer and verify some price needs moved by the affected vendor.
Once diagnosed positively Syndrome a seller of the company, it has two options: Bouncing or trying to rehabilitate the seller. These options will go directly related to a previous question: Does the seller is interesting for the company? Alternatively, in a more complex way: Even suffering Syndrome, is it worth the effort to try to regain the seller, given their skills and what you can bring to the company once recovered?
If the answer is yes, you should start working immediately with the problem. The methods of operation may be different depending on the philosophy and the means available to the company, but it is important that the strategy the following performance parameters appear.
- Total privacy for the treatment of the subject, you should never speak in public.
- Openly raise the issue, emphasizing the method of performance of the seller, and not in a particular case.
- Exhibition of the evidence collected to customers, if necessary, again avoiding going into detail in a case that will prevent us from seeing the problem globally.
- Acceptance of the problem by the seller
- Monitoring or accompaniment for the time required by the directly responsible, it is important that the offender is a reference; otherwise, it must find another person in the organization even if it is a partner.
- Especially analyze the performance of the seller during the months following the completion of follow-up. Act accordingly.