Sales Management Ashley Cain March 18, 2013 MKT/445 University of Phoenix Sales personnel performance can be very difficult to manage based upon the type of business that is being run and along with the job responsibilities. Management techniques are basically the strategies that managers put into place in order to manage behaviors. There are numerous management techniques that can be effective. There are also many different tools that managers utilize to keep their business running properly and generating business.
The first management technique that is vital to the success of any business is hiring. This is initially where it begins and there are many different priorities that go into hiring. The first aspect of hiring for any company would be to determine what you are hiring for. Each position is going to need a different skill set, therefore what you are looking for in a sales associate would be completely different than what the company may be looking for in a stock associate. Once the company determines the position then they will need to determine the skill set that is required.
For example, when Victoria’s Secret is hiring a stock associate the skill set needs to be strong with organization, speed and efficiency, and overall just very task oriented. However, when the company is looking for a sales associate to sell bras, that person needs to be very personable and completely customer focus driven. Ensuring that the right behaviors are in place when completing hiring, can definitely set the company up for success or failure. The next management technique would flow into training.
Now that the company has hired the correct individual, it is up to the management to ensure that the training is thorough and accurate to set that associate up for success. “The training process is a vital link in the process of converting the recruit into a productive sales representative. It has been estimated that U. S. companies spend over $7 billion annually on sales training” (Spiro, Rich, Stanton, Ch. 7,. Para. 1). Due to a higher demand for a sales representative to be able to build a relationship with their customers, sales training has gone to a whole new level.
For Victoria’s Secret there primary focus is solely on the customer and ensuring that her experience in the store is exceptional every time she visits and every store she visits. Therefore the company will need to have a very structured training program for all stores to align on, so that everyone is staying true to the company values. Most companies expect to influence the productivity of their field sales organizations through the design and delivery of their training programs.
But training programs might have other objectives as well. They include a lower employee turnover rate, better morale, more effective communication, improved customer relations, and better self-management. (Spiro, Rich, Stanton, Ch. 7. , Para. 22). The next management technique is probably one that seems like the easiest, but can be the hardest, motivation. In many businesses, motivation comes from self-motivation. However, when leading a sales team, the motivation needs to begin with the manager. A sales manager acts as a catalyst, providing both the stimulation for salespeople to feel motivated and the proper rewards so that they continue to feel motivated” (Spiro, Rich, Stanton, Ch. 8. , Para. 1). Because the marketplace is ever changing, it is extremely important to keep the sales team motivated. Business can fluctuate day to day and in order for a sales associate to truly understand their impact on the business, they need to feel rewarded and appreciated. People are going to work harder for managers who they feel appreciated by.
The next two management technique is all around operational controls and technology. Due to the advancements of technology it is now easier for managers to access reports. Being able to access those reports on a daily basis is beneficial to the success of the business, because managers can then develop insight as to where their strengths and opportunities lie and can make adjustments in the moment. Ensuring that operational controls are in place like scheduling and payroll, will allow the management to focus their attention on what matters most, the customers.
There are many different tools that management utilizes as a way to analyze business. “Sales quotas are individual sales target figure assigned to each sales unit such as a sales person as a minimum requirement for a specific period” (Business Dictionary, n. d. ). A sales target is basically the same thing as a sales quota. For Victoria’s Secret these goals that are set the store teams are set by the financial team at home office. The management team receives a sales forecast about a month out, in order to prepare from a scheduling perspective to support the anticipated target.
Then based upon the daily quota, each member of management working that day is responsible for the overall goal as they are in charge of producing sales during their shift. For Victoria’s Secret specifically, the quota for the day is broken down into two hour segments and no manager runs more than two segments back to back. They are in charge of meeting that quota for that time frame. Sales reports are also generated by the home office team. Based upon the actuals from the previous day, the reports automatically populate themselves and update. Home office monitors these reports to ensure they poll correctly.
These sales reports are vital to the success each week. The management team will monitor these reports daily to understand strengths and opportunities to make corrections in the moment. Overall management techniques and tools are extremely important to the success of the business. It is also extremely important for the management to understand that they all work together. If the operational side of the business is not set up correctly, then the sales associates and the management team cannot focus on reaching their sales target and more importantly cannot focus on the customer experience.
By focusing on motivating the employees, the company will in turn see happy customers, which will equal sales growth. References WebFinance. (2013). Business Dictionary. Retrieved on March 18, 2013 from http://www. businessdictionary. com Spiro. R. , & Rich. G. , & Stanton. W. , (2008). Management of a Sales Force. Chapter 7. Developing, Delivering, and Reinforcing a Sales Training Program. McGraw-Hill. Spiro. R. , & Rich. G. , & Stanton. W. , (2008). Management of a Sales Force. Chapter 8. Motivating a Sales Force. McGraw-Hill.