One of the major problem facing sales managers is on what criteria to judge a new salesperson when hiring him. In most cases, the sales managers look at the sales person’s past records and his performance in the previous organization but many a times, they see that a successful salesperson in one organization does not perform when hired in the new organization. One of the main reasons for that it is the difference in culture and values.
The new recruit might be very good but he might not be compatible with your organization.
Another major problem being faced by the sales managers is that even though the sales people meet their targets, they barely ever follow the sales process of their own company. Every salesperson tries his own tactics that he thinks will bring business. When giving bonuses to salespeople, sales managers find it difficult to determine the metrics on which to evaluate the salesperson’s performance. Should they judge the salesperson depending on how much business he brought and in that case, they will have to ignore the ways the business was brought, to what extent was business rules followed and how ethical was the deal, etc.
Ethical issues are one of the major problems that are faced by the sales managers. Many sales people bring in a lot of business for the firm but in return, they are being paid kickbacks by the customer which means that unethical behavior is practiced. It is very difficult for a sales manager to oversee any unethical practices taking place in the organization from his office and therefore, they find it extremely difficult for stop unethical practices in the organization.
Almost all sales managers face this problem. The sales manager has to evaluate the performance of the sales people and this responsibility makes the sales manager a judge and on the other hand, the sales manager is required to train and coach the sales people and this responsibility makes the sales manager a coach and a helper and both these roles are very conflicting so the sales managers find it difficult to fulfill both roles since both roles require different type of a relationship with the sales person.
Many sales managers when evaluating the sales person give more emphasis to whether they like the sales representative or not rather than on the fact that sales person is bringing in business which is not the right thing. Because even if the sales manager does not that sales representative, if the representative is bringing in the expected business, then the manager has to reward him either through commission or bonuses. Sales managers find it difficult to decide whether they want to have a salary plus commission or salary plus bonus.
In the first method, the commission is the percentage of the sales made in actual dollar terms whereas in the second method, you give a certain percentage of the sales representative’s salary as a reward to the sales person. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and one method works better for some sales people whereas the other method works better for other sales people and deciding which one to implement is an issue that is faced by sales people on a more strategic level rather than operational level.
Sales managers also have to decide whether they assign sales teams or one sales person to each account. And if they have a whole sales team for one account then how do they plan to reward those sales people. Will those sales people be evaluated on the basis of team performance or individual performance and if they will be evaluated on team performance then will the rewards be given to a whole team equally or depending on each sales person’s contribution towards the goal because these things will affect the motivation level of the sales people.
Answer 2: The emphasis on training the sales people cannot be emphasized enough. Sales people’ training is very essential for both new and old sales people. Training in communicating with people is important for both old and new sales people since they come across all sorts of customers. For example, a sales person who is selling detergent will be selling the detergent to all sorts of people whether the customer is in higher socioeconomic class or lower, whether he is a man or a woman or whether he is Asian or America.
Sales people should know how to communicate with all sorts of people so that they can cater to more customers. Administrative training is really important because the sales people whether old or new should be told to keep all sorts of documentation because safely keeping all sales documents is important therefore, sales people need training about what documents they need to create when a sale is made, how the documents are maintained and how they need to be filled, etc.
Sales people also need training regarding knowledge development. They need to be told how to keep themselves abreast about all the products of the company, its competitors and also information about substitute products because the customer of today is very knowledgeable and therefore, to sell to such a customer, a sales person must know everything in and out so that he can convince the customer to buy his product.
The new sales people need to be trained regarding the sales practices of the company, the sales culture of the company and also the sales process. You need to have the new recruit get integrated into the new environment so that he can perform well and secondly, all organizations do not have the same way of selling so the sales representative need to be made aware of what is expected out of him so that he can strive to achieve that and in a way that is accepted and practiced by the new organization.
The importance of training is also important since the world is becoming global and sales people are transferred from one region to another so they need to be aware of the differences in culture, language, etc so that they can sell to the locals without transgressing the boundaries or offending them in any way. Experienced sales people have to be trained because if they are not trained, they become outdated.
They need to be taught about the new ways of selling which are practiced by the big companies so that they can utilize them to sell to the customers. Experience sales people will also have to be made aware of the new technologies. For example, now many companies are using Sales Force Automation systems which enhance the selling of the organization. These are new technologies and the sales people will have to learn these new technologies to remain current and competitive.
Training is also essential for new sales people to let them know what they need to do to move higher up in the rung which helps to reduce employee turnover since if they know that doing so and so will lead them to a new destination then they will not look outside the organization for career opportunities. Moreover, it makes it clear to them about what they need to do to get a certain thing so that they can work towards it. Answer 4:
The major advantage of building customer relationships via the internet is the cost factor. It is much cheaper to sell, answer queries, and provide customer service to thousand customers on the Internet because very few people can handle all this since most of the work is automated. However, in a brick and mortar environment, it would require hundreds of sales people to manage all these relationships and it will be costly because you need to pay them, you need to train them and secondly, the consistency will not be there.
Another major advantage of building customer relationships online is that you can cater to a wide range of audience. The Internet is used by people around the world so if you are selling books on the Internet and your business is in Chicago then you are not just limited to people living in Chicago. People from all around United States and also outside the country can buy from you since all they need is that they have to do is go to your website. The communication becomes very quick when you are handling relationships on the Internet.
For example, if the customer is finding some problem with a new appliance he bought from an online store, he can just e-mail them or chat with some online representative who will solve the query faster than in traditional stores. The Internet helps you to display millions of things to a customer who gets to have a wide range which is not possible with traditional methods. So you can display millions of goods to the customer which will keep him happy without increasing your cost since you do not have to buy a huge storefront to keep all those goods.
When you are selling an electronic item in a traditional store, you need to train all the sales people so that they know how to operate the item and whenever a customer arrives, the sales person will have to demonstrate to him how the item works. With online websites, you can put videos of demonstration of how the item works which is cheaper plus the customer can view any time and he can watch multiple times even after he has bought the item. However, there are also disadvantages of this method. For example, it is very difficult to attract traffic to your online service or store.
Many companies do not have enough funds to pay websites such as Google for advertising them and with online websites; there is no other way of attracting customers. Another problem with this is that customer and sales person cannot see each other And due to that the communication is not as effective as with traditional methods. In all sorts of communication, a communication becomes more effective if the other person can see you so that you can study his body language and facial expressions. Secondly, many people find it uncomfortable talking to a machine.
There are many prospective customers whom you can sell but they do not access the Internet either because it is not accessible to them or because they are too busy so there are chances that you can miss out on important customers which results in lost sales. When you have to interact with a customer online, it is much more difficult than using the traditional ways. Therefore, when recruiting people, you need to ensure that they are capable of communicating with someone over the Internet effectively. Moreover, they should be trained well so that they can help the customer properly.