Effective Sales Management
Dr. Obaid Saad Alabdali
Objectives of Today Lecture
Profiling and recruiting sales people
Hiring and Socializing New sales people
Developing and conducting a sales training program
Myths About Selling
Sales people are born-not made
Sales people must be good talkers
Selling is a matter of knowing the right techniques or tricks
A good sales person can sell anything
A good sales person can sell ice to an Eskimo
People do not want to buy
What You Think of Sales People?
You can take a way my money and take a way my factories, but leave me my sales staff and I will be back where I was in two years.
Types Of Sales People
Support sales people
Profiling and Recruiting Sales People
Select the sales people
Right people is the key to successes
Sales Force Selection and Strategic Planning
Sales group directly bring money
It is directly involve with carrying out the company’s strategic marketing plan
Marketing strategy implementation
( considerable services)
Important of a Good Selection Program
It addresses the problem of getting good people
It improves sales force performance
It promotes cost saving
It eases other managerial tasks
Sales managers are no better than their sales force
The Law And Sales Force Selection
Nondiscrimination and affirmative action
nondiscrimination-requires elimination of all existing discriminatory conditions.
affirmative action-requires the employer to do more than ensure neutrality in regard to race, sex, and national origin. It require additional effort to recruit, qualified members of group formerly excluded.
Plan for recruiting and selection
Establish responsibility for recruiting and selection ( top sales executive, field sales manger, human resource department, or combination)
Determine the number and type of sales people
This involve the analysis of market and job ( write job description)
Establish the qualification for that job.
Identify sources of recruits
Select the source to be used
Contact the recruits
Design a system for measuring applicants
Measure applicants against hiring qualifications
Hire The People
Those people who have been selected (convince people)
Assimilate New People Into Sales Force
Establish Responsibility for Recruiting, Selection, and Assimilation
Management must decide who will be responsible for recruiting and selection decisions and who must be responsible for assimilating the new hires into the organization.
That will depends on size of the company and nature of the job
Determine the Number of People Wanted
Good faith in their selection system.
Study your marketing plan (expansion)
Factors affecting size of sales force
termination, and resignation
Determine the Type of People Wanted
Three tasks associated with determining the type of people
Is the actual task of determining what constitute a given job
study every aspect of the position (by any member of the sales force, human resource or by an outsider)
requires observation and interviewing with sales rep, customers, other sales reps
Once job is analyzed, the resultant description should be put in writing
must be done in great details
It is not enough to say that a sales person is supposed to sell the product, call on customers, or build goodwill toward the company
Scope of Job Description (1)
Title of job
Organizational relationship (to whom do the sales person report)
Types of products and services sold
Types of customers called on
Duties and responsibilities related
Job demand (mental and physical i.e.. Travel)
Scope of Job Description (2)
Use of job description
Job analysis and job description must be used as strategic guidelines for interview, application blanks, psychological test and others selection tools
It can be a foundation for sales force training program
used foe compensation structure
Establish Work load
Determine Hiring Qualifications
The most difficult part of the entire selection process.
Demographic characteristics, Education and experience, do little to explain person performance
Personal history may be better indicator for performance
Desirable Characteristics for Sales People
Mental capacities (planning and problem solving)
Physical (appearance and age)
Experience (sales and other business experience)
Education (no. of years, degree, major)
Buyers’ Top Ten Sales Persons Traits
Willing to work hard and Honesty
Methods of Determining Qualifications
There is no satisfactory methods to use
Some methods can be used
study of job description (technical, supervision)
Analysis of personal histories
Recruiting and Its Important
It include all activities involved in securing individuals who will apply for the job.
Recruiting should not be done haphazardly (overlooking good sources/ cost)
Get enough qualified applicants to maximize the chance of getting good one
Find and Maintain Good Recruiting Sources
Determine the best sources
Find out from where the best sales people came from
Maintain good relationships with good source
Sources of Sales Representatives
Within the company
Other companies (competitors,customers, noncompetitors)
Attract attention and have credibility
How to contact the employer
Evaluation of Recruiting Program
A company should continually evaluate the effectiveness of its recruiting program
Picking Winners is Hard?
In the selection, the number and type of sales people are determined and applicant have been recruited.
Now management should be ready for developing a system for matching the applicants with the predetermined requirements and the actual use of this system to select the sales people.
Selecting Applicants and Strategic Planning
If it handled effectively, it can help ensure successful sales performance
A poor job in processing applicants can hinder implementation
Matching company needs and applicants potential is very important
Do not ask: (job relevant)
How many children (age, many, who cares)
Applicant height or weight
Name and address of any relatives
Company uses two blanks, a short one and a longer one, more details
Short one used as an initial screening device.
Company asks only for information it intends to use now or later
Personal Interviews (1)
No sales person is ever hired without personal interview
Knowing the applicant personally
Personal fitness for a job
Speaking voice, social intelligence
Personal Interviews (2)
Interpret and get further information about facts stated on the application blank.
Fundamentally, all the questions asked during an interview aimed at learning the:
Is the person qualified for the job
How badly does he want the job
Will the job help him to achieve his goals
Will this applicant work to his fullest ability
Reliability of Personal Interview
Situation/behavioral type of interview for sale position is good.
It heavily dependent on the behavior of the interviewer.
Interviewers talk too much listen to little
They ask the wrong questions
Improving the Validity of Interviews
Review the applicant’s resume or application before proceeding further.
Have more than one interview with each candidate
Use standardized rating form that they fill
Review these information to make ranking
Interview Structure and Focus
Interviews can be differ (extent of Qs)
all interviewers use the same guide sheet containing a series of questions
Ask these questions in order listed
Informal-ask few question to get applicant talking, interview does little talking
Is a type of unstructured interview in which the interviewer intentionally places the applicant under stress.
Rude, silent, or aggressive in questions
give you a pen and ask you to sell it.
On the Job Interview
Asking the applicant to spend a day observing one of the company current sales rep
Ask the applicant to make a presentation to customer
Behaviorally Based Interviews
New type of interview which focused on the applicant’s behavior, past or intended.
Timing Of The Interview
Executive valuable time
Initial stages (15-20 minutes)
Later stage, the more time talking with the applicant the better
A company uses a battery of these tests rather than one single test.
It is complex and controversy
Types of Tests
Mental intelligence test
intended to measures native intelligence
tests a person aptitude for selling
Problem in Testing
Testing may eliminate truly creative person, who might not fall in the average or normal rang in testing
References and Other Outside Sources
The applicant furnishes the leads; a reference
Company get information on its own initiative, credit, insurance report, school record, and motor vehicle.
Reference check made by letter, telephone, or personal visit (advantage, disadvantage of each methods)
Assessment center technique is a centralized, comprehensive evaluation procedures involve testing, interviews, and simulation exercises such as business game, discussion group, and individual testing
Takes one to three days to evaluate applicants and their performance
Reaching A decision about an Applicant
A company must decide whether to make a job offer based on the information they get.
Do not leave any applicant dangling
If you decide not to hire him, tell him gently, but clearly
If you decide to hire him, make a formal offer and persuade him to accept it.
Selection and hiring is not synonymous
Acceptance rate is low
Generate large number of acceptable recruits
Efficiency in recruiting (fast/slow decision)
Everyone wants to feel important
Thought should be given to the offer process before actual recruit contact begin.
To do this we need to:
The acceptable recruits should be ranked
How the offer (s) will be extended
Ranking the Recruits
Two lists should be developed
a list of the recruits in the order of the firm’s preference of them
The second list can be developed by the firm’s interviewers, based on how interested the recruits seemed in joining the firm.
What about when the person the firm wants most is not interested? (shall we spend time)
What will be included in the Offer
Compensation (type and amount)
How Will the Offer be Extended
Who will make the offer (top manager, Human resource, sale manger)
Most of job offers are initially made over the telephone
how much time will be allowed for acceptance and what concessions will be made if the recruit want to negotiate some of the term of the deal.
A formal letter follows if offer is accepted (this letter needs carefully wording/ contract)
Extending the Offer
Many small, but important, details must be anticipated in making the offer.
Review the job
ask for questions
determine interest (trail close) do you want the job. If we made an offer will you accept it.
If he reject it accept it with grace
Keep good relations, it help
Is the process through which the new recruits take on the values and attitudes of the people who are already working for the firm.
Preemployment socialization (publication, visit)
Assimilation- when he accept the offer
familiar with the environment and their job tasks
Booklet about company’s history, the executives, product line, health, recreational.
The expense account
What is going to happen next?
Be part of the team
Know the supporting staff
Introduction to business
Familiarization with firm’s operation
Spend time in each of the firm’s functional unit.
Need for effective communication
Meeting Social and Psychological Needs
People are social animals
He should be socially integrated into new environment
Social need may be overrule their economic need
Leaving home, family, friend, strange in new city, etc?
Mentoring New Employees
A mentor is someone with knowledge, experience, position, or power who provides personal counseling and career guidance for younger employee
Three types of mentoring programs
a senior manager is a assigned for each sales rep
co-worker to be new reps’ adviser
informal process, a senior executive select a younger sales rep and help him climb the ladder
The Value of Sales Training
The training program is a link in the process of converting the recruit into a productive sales rep
Training was ranked as second important factor in sale person success
Important Factors for Ensuring a Sales Person’s Success
Good work habits/hard work
Knowledge (customer,market, competition, product)
Successful Training Programs Consist of Three Phases
in each of these phases sales executive must make a number of decisions
In this phase, sale executive must determine:
What are our training need?
What are the objectives of the training?
Who should be trained?
How much training is needed?
Start with sophisticated need analysis that include interviewing customers about their needs
Find weaknesses in selling skills and design a training program to eliminate them.
Sources to gather these information are many such as management and training department judgement
Increasing sales productivity
Lower turnover (good people less to fail)
Improved customer relations
Lower selling cost
Better use of time
Who Should be Trained?
Newly hired sales reps
Existing sales reps
who struggling to achieve their objectives
when new products introduced, market shifts, buyer change
Train people who are not the company’s employees: distribution, middleman representative, etc.
How Much Training Is Needed?
Depends on the training objectives
half a day training may be enough introducing sales rep to promotional program
2-3 days for introducing him to new feature in the product
Customer relations may needs 3-4 days
Teaching basic selling skills to inexperienced recruits needs 3- 6 months
In the program design phase, the following question must be answered:
Who should do the training?
When should the training take place?
Where it should be done?
What should the content of the training be?
What teaching methods should be used?
Who should do the training?
Three basic sources of trainers are:
regular line executive (senior sales representative, field supervisor, territorial manager or sales managers).
Staff trainers-can be hired to conduct training
Outside training specialist
Each one has advantages and disadvantages
When Training Should Take Place
Two basic attitude
no one should be placed in the field who is not fully trained
other attitude is the recruit should sell before investing in training in that person. This philosophy has merits that it is much easier to train people who have some field experience than those who have none.
Where Training Should Take Place
Field sales office instruction
use of senior sales people
local sales schools
local sales seminar
at central location/ it is very expensive
Content Of Training
Attitude toward selling
Knowledge about the company
Product knowledge and application
Knowledge of competitive products
Knowledge of customers
Time management skills
Legal constraints on selling
Lectures- ineffective for teaching sales
Audio cassettes-when sales rep drive
Business TV- broadcast live via satellite
We must assess the effectiveness of our training programs, we must decide on:
what outcomes will be evaluated?
How will these outcomes be measured?
Outcomes and Measures
Learning-how much information they get-test before and after
Behavior- whether the trainee’s behavior has changed in substantial ways.
Result-increased sales and productivity