Sales Management Evolution-4 Key Stages
When it comes to sales management, you’re likely to come across two kinds of managers. The first one notices the market declining and decides to manage that over everything else. In this scenario, the only result you can possibly expect is a decline in sales as well.
The second type of manager is the kind who decides to leverage the decline and increase the brand’s market share. This is a bold manager with vision who knows how the game is played. Managers of this kind have no problems achieving results even in the most challenging scenario.
But, if you were to dig deeper, you would find that these managers follow a pattern; a pattern that is broken down into 4 stages, with the 4th one being the most evolved stage. In this blog, we are going to explore these 4 stages even further.
This is the stage at which most companies begin their journey and it can be best described as being chaotic or without rules. There is no structure in place and the sales team is simply commanded to go make a sale. Needless to say, such a scenario can lead to all kinds of problems and conflicts.
That’s when the person running the business decides to introduce some sense of a structure by hiring a sales manager.
In stage 2, we start to see a system in place or something that’s close enough to an actual system. The sales manager, at this stage, functions as though he/she were conducting a survey. He/she tries to make the sales team feel valued and comfortable.
The sales team is provided with everything they need, which is fine as long as the sales team can continue contributing to the brand’s growth.
However, all good things come to an end and the cracks start to appear. A common problem that plagues stage 2 is self-interest. When all their needs are met easily, salespeople, especially the ones higher on the success ladder, tend to develop an attitude of “I’m only supposed to sell. That’s my job”.
In other words, stage 2 becomes toxic. The manager is forced to deal with complaints of unfairness and other issues such as low productivity.
This is when a stronger sales manager is called in; someone who won’t hesitate to fire salespeople who aren’t contributing and someone who can restore order. That brings us to stage 3.
The stage 3 managers begin to standardize the system and show the door to non-performers. The profits go up and prices are raised. The stage 3 manager functions as a CFO cum owner. This person is invested in expanding the business and doing what’s best for it.
However, this is the trickiest stage as many companies tend to fall into a false sense of comfort assuming that there isn’t much else to do. In other words, they don’t strive for stage 4. That brings us to the question of what stage 4 looks like.
Stage 4 is when the hired manager is a proper businessman capable of transforming the team. He/she can identify the non-performers and work towards motivating them. A stage 3 manager only hires and fires; a stage 4 manager transforms. They can play with the cards that they’ve been dealt.
There are 3 key changes that the stage 4 manager does. He/she establishes a do or die culture while celebrating the entire sales team, establishes a selling process, and provides the tools needed for the team to do what’s necessary.