To survive in the market, it is necessary to value strategies that are different from the competition. Sales force management is one of them. After all, the sales cycle today is longer and more complex. So, it’s not enough for an employee of your sales team to call a prospect, pay him a visit, and have a sales pitch on the tip of his tongue to close a deal. Sales force management process
The current scenario requires methods and techniques that prestige the relationships long term with customers. For this, it is essential that the manager has a mindset focused on growth and that he is willing to take his sales team structure to another level.
So, the question that remains is: is it worth having a sales force management system in your company? To find that answer and understand what sales force management is based on, just read this post to the end!
What is sales force management?
Sales force management is a strategy whose main objective is to optimize the performance of the sales team and the marketing team. We can even say that sales force management is a strategy to increase business sales , as it relates performance and results.
For this, plans and tactics are drawn up, which include prospecting , approaching the sale, communication, how to break objections and closing the sale, for example.
Through this sales strategy , it is possible to outline plans to improve results, such as indicating that 80% of the time is directed to current customers and another 20% to potential customers.
What is the purpose of sales force management?
In general terms, sales force management aims to promote the total satisfaction of its customer base. All employees of an organization who are focused on achieving this objective are part of this concept. Sales force management process
As this is not an easy goal to be achieved, the professionals who make up sales management, in addition to having a deep knowledge of the company they work for, are passionate and motivated.
Therefore, even in a challenging scenario, such as the current one, in which the customer is more demanding and well-informed than ever, they spare no effort to fulfill their purpose.
In this context, it is worth emphasizing that sales management has an engaging aspect and a holistic view. In other words, the sales force structure is based on a commitment to company results, not individual success.
It is precisely for this reason that one of the most striking characteristics of companies that manage their sales force well is the reduction in the difference in performance between the different employees in a team .
It is also important to emphasize that today, not only the sales team, but also the marketing department, are part of the sales force management. Thus, both teams join actions to win and retain customers .
How to organize the sales force?
The sales force team needs to be efficiently organized. In general, this structuring depends on a few factors: Sales force management process
- business dimension;
- product or service sold;
- item specifics;
- technological level;
- geographic dispersion of current consumers;
- target Audience;
- team organization models.
According to this determination, the sales force can be structured in the following ways.
Team members are distributed in relevant geographic zones. Each of them has a sector to work in and sells all products and services.
The advantage is that this arrangement strengthens the relationship between customers and sellers and, therefore, it is easier to manage displacements. In addition, the seller has more autonomy.
This model also encourages local businesses and encourages interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, work always in the same region can become saturated.
Organization by product
Team members are responsible for a specific item or a variety of products. The benefit occurs in cases where the merchandise requires a lot of technical knowledge or when there is a very large quantity of items. Sales force management process
In this case, the seller needs to know what he is offering and provide as much information as possible. However, this can cause multiple sellers to serve the same buyers, causing confusion. Ideally, a rotation and coordination should be developed for the scheduling of visits.
Organization by type of customer
This structure is indicated when there are different customers, who require a specific approach from the team. It is up to sellers to specialize in their fields of expertise to better understand the needs.
The advantage is the possibility to pay more attention to demands. The downside is that work can get more complicated when customers with similar characteristics are widely dispersed. This situation also generates a lot of travel costs.
Organization by mixed system
This is the model suitable for larger companies, which may opt for a more complex distribution. Thus, they can structure the company by region and product, zone and customer, or even the 3 elements.
Anyway, this structure also needs to be flexible in some cases, so that it is possible to act more efficiently. So, take care of the organization, but know how to let go of it when necessary.
How to do sales force planning?
Good sales force management can be a key part of a company’s performance, as well as the achievement of goals.
However, it is necessary that, as with any strategy, it is developed based on a complete analysis of the scenario and the team’s particularities.
Below, you can check out our 7 tips to understand how to do sales force planning.
1. Align the team’s purpose with the company’s
The first step in creating a sales force management plan is to establish a relationship of affinity between the purposes of the team and those of the company. Much more than an inspiring expression, purpose is what actually drives and motivates an attitude. Sales force management process
In this way, a sales force that feels moved and driven by the same principles as the company tends to work in a more assertive and balanced way.
Alignment with business purposes can happen in different ways. Some of them are:
- periodic meetings with the team;
- constant feedback routines;
- external and motivational events;
- recognition of best practices.
Before moving on to the next topic, see the video below for an interesting reflection on the purpose.
2. Plan the sales force’s focus of action
Second, it is time to exercise the sales force manager’s holistic view to understand what the team can offer to the business.
For that, our recommendation is to divide the commercial process into stages and understand the focus of each one of them. What is the expected result after prospecting? What should the team focus on in the nutrition stage — providing quality content or strengthening the relationship with the customer? (Remember that, in this case, choosing the right focus can help bring about other positive results as a result).
3. Bet and develop the team’s differentials
Knowing the focus of the sales process, it is possible to advance to the 3rd phase of sales force management planning. It’s time to direct efforts to each of the stages, taking into account the team’s abilities and differentials. Sales force management process
Remember that, in a context of high competition, the prospecting, sales, marketing, after-sales and customer success teams need to be differentiated. After all, a good customer experience is defined, above all, by those who are able to go beyond the Wow Factor , causing true satisfaction and delight to the customer .
Therefore, it is up to the sales manager to make an accurate assessment of the potential differentials and abilities of the team, both from a general and a particular point of view.
What is your team’s greatest skill? — you must ask yourself. In this case, we can find answers such as humanization of processes, technological aptitude, agility in the sales funnel or assertiveness in negotiation.
The important thing is to know how to identify the differential and bet on it to create differentiation in the service offered. If humanization is already the strength of the team, how can your sales force bring that skill to a truly unforgettable shopping experience?
4. Develop in-depth knowledge of the product or service being sold
No sales force planning can be successful if the team doesn’t know the product or service being sold like the back of their hand.
The essence of a good sale is the level of affinity between the sellers and the solution offered. Therefore, be sure to include in your sales force management, training modules, improvements and updates about the product or service offered by the company.
5. Teach how to sell value, not a product
According to marketing guru Philip Kotler, customer value is about creating genuine reasons for them to choose to consume a product or service.
Kotler also highlights that, when looking for a solution in sales, the customer is rarely interested in a product or service, but in its added value. Sales force management process
Therefore, it is up to the sales teams to understand this value and bet on strategies that enhance them.
When selling, for example, a shoe, you are offering much more than a shoe. In addition to the shopping experience, the following are also part of the added value portfolio:
- Trading conditions;
- logistical conditions;
- Time invested;
- Effort to reach your goal.
It is common to find definitions that link customer value exclusively to the marketing effort, but the truth is that this is a construction that belongs to the entire sales force .
6. Set goals effectively
By now, you’ve certainly realized how complex sales force management can be, haven’t you? We are talking about an industry essential for a company’s success, and this is why internal goals and objectives need to be developed intelligently.
No unattainable or unrealistic goals. In addition to not being practicable, they can negatively contribute to the destabilization and demotivation of the team.
Instead, how about betting on SMART goals? By definition, SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.
7. Use dice as allies
“Data is the new oil”. This sentence, published in an article in The Economist , shows the impact of strategic data management on organizations. The statement reinforces how obtaining and knowing how to manage customer data are activities responsible for the success of a business.