Sales Management Challenges in 2009
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Sales Management Challenges in 2009
by: Drew Stevens
The economic year is taking a grave toll on all attitudes and behaviors.
Selling professionals, sales managers and business owners are having a very
difficult time trying to meet goals and remain profitable. In addition, as
further economic news reverberates retaining clients beckons other issues. While
many believe that there is an end in site, managers have other issues-
maintaining productivity! In a recent survey of over 400 sales managers we
collected data for an upcoming white paper to illustrate the three prevalent
issues in the coming months.
- Morale – Executives are having a difficult time with motivated staff. Each
day the media unearths more economic dearth. With over 85% of employees
listing to talk radio while commuting, the each day begins with a pall.
Moreover, with over 71,000 recent layoffs negative press does not help. The
economic news creates a din in the work team and morale is low to start the
day. It is then incumbent on managers to play cheerleader.
The priority for managers and supervisors is to provide an environment where
productivity is the main theme. Managers should be encouraged to communicate
often informing employees candidly about the respective business so that media
rumor does not placate employee relations. Second, the more open the
communication the more relaxed the staff. Recent research illustrates that 78%
of employee productivity develops from manager-employee relationships, the
better the relationship the better the production.
Finally, get individuals to end the self-pity and self-talk. Negativity will
manifest when there is too much discussion. Positive conversation invokes a
positive environment. In addition, an active work team produces less negative
conversation. When the mind is occupied there is less time to think about
- Goal Pressure - Senior Management mandates profit desires and middle
management is fighting back on lofty goals. Recent research in the field has
created the notion that sales and marketing departments should work together
to achieve operational success. Establishing integrated roles and developing
greater market research can aid organizational growth.
Second, the main thrust on operational teams such as selling must be on client
retention. 81% less investment is achieved by retaining clients than acquiring
new. In addition, present prospect clients are more cautious in choices due to
budgetary constraints. In this economy, it is much easier to sell new products
and services to new clients. The effort simply requires the introduction of
new client value.
Finally, to meet goals and objectives a lofty consideration is actually
spending money on advertising and promotion. Irrational times call for
irrational measures. When the competition is imploding and cautious,
recessionary times are helpful. Advertising space is more negotiable as others
decrease spending and this enables your firm to produce more speed and
velocity as others remain in the hanger.
- Staff Retention - As staff becomes disenchanted many individuals seek
refuge with competitors or simply leave the industry. Retaining key talent or
acquiring new talent is difficult. Exemplars for staffing always seek talent,
not just when they need them. If your firm seeks productive talent, your best
farm system is with your current staff. Employees if passionate about the work
offer conviction no advertisement emulates. The best message initiates from
passionate and committed staff. Begin a referral program that produces a
benefit to all sides. However seek those that are not only hungry but also fit
within the company profile and offer needed talent. Do not make compressed
choices to complete spots but discover talent that desires future growth.
For approximately, corporations large and small have endured economic
hardship. To many, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. However,
recessions do not last forever and an end will arrive soon. The path to
diligence begins one step at a time. Frugality and fear only halt success.
Desperate times call for competitive techniques that stabilize fear, maintain
work and satisfy stakeholders. However, the path to a better future must begin
with observation of the challenges, understanding the challenges and developing
Drew Stevens Ph.D. President of
Stevens Consulting Group is
one of those very rare
sales management and business development experts with not only 28 years of
true sales experience but advanced degrees in sales productivity. Not many can
make such as claim. Drew works with sales managers and their direct reports to
create more customer centric relationships that dramatically drive new revenues
and new clients. He is the author of
Split Second Selling and the founder and coordinator of the
Sales Leadership Program at Saint
Louis University. Contact him today at 877-391-6821.
Published here on: 08-Mar-09
Classification: Sales, Management