The Sales Department is the Strong Arm Of Your Company
Making sales to enable the company to manufacture and distribute products and services is vital. Optimize, develop and invest in growth.
Commercial Consulting: The best strategy to have a commercial network that sells
If your goal is to have an efficient and performing sales department without burdening costs, you will have to invest time and money to make this happen.
The first thing you need to know is that you cannot rely only on the performance of a few good sellers, but you must create your own “Commercial Strategy” and your “Sales System”.
This will allow you to have:
- Best quality sales
- More sales
- Loyal customers
- Reduction in sales costs
- Quick management of contracts
“When the sales department is growing, the optimal conditions are created for the development of the company, so every entrepreneur aims to improve the sales sector.”
The sales secret that no one will tell you
If you think selling is a distinct business or in some way unrelated to the rest of the business, you are making a big mistake. The sale is the next part of the Marketing strategies, the phase in which you come into contact with the end customer.
To make good sales, 3 things are needed
- Have a good product that meets specific needs
- Have a marketing plan that identifies the activities to be carried out
- Have a business strategy and the resources to apply it
These are the necessary conditions to have continuous and, as far as possible, planned sales.
If you think this is not true, it is useless to continue reading this page because it means that you are not yet ready to consider a real commercial advice.
Commercial Consulting:Find out how to create an advanced sales system
The problem of poor sales is often blamed on the few or bad sellers, but before reaching these conclusions it would be worth asking a few questions.
- Is my product / service better or different in something than the competition?
- Do I have a well managed commercial network?
- Have I given all the necessary tools to my sellers?
- Have I provided them with a Marketing Consultant who supports them in the pre and post sales phases?
- Are they sufficiently trained?
- Do I know in detail the sales performance of the commercials?
- Are they sufficiently motivated?
To these questions it is not enough to give a simple Yes or No answer, but one must enter into the specifics and thus bring out the possible gaps that generate a non-performing commercial department.
If you are interested in understanding how to create a sales network, you can read on this page the dedicated section “Complete guide on how to create a sales network”.
Do you know why some companies sell and others don’t?
To explain the characteristics of a company that sells I want to give you an example of two companies: Company A and Company B, both sell household appliances and also provide an excellent appliance repair and assistance service, in addition:
- It has a brand
- It has a website
- It has a call center that manages appointments
- Offers promotional products based on the season
- It has a printed catalog
- The salesmen issue a paper invoice to the customer
- A business meeting is held every quarter of approximately three hours
- Rewards are offered based on sales
- It has a brand positioned and with a high differentiation from the competition
- It has a search engine optimized website where you can directly purchase certain products and services
- It has a digital sales tracking system
- It has a call center that manages appointments and sells services over the phone
- It has a digital and automatic system that sends communications to customers with warranties and product updates
- It offers different and specific promotions, thanks to a CRM that divides customers based on the type of product / service purchased
- It equips salespeople with a digital catalog (on tablet) that updates in real time with the warehouse
- Send invoices via tablet to the customer and they are automatically recorded in the company
- All sellers were analyzed in the sales phase and their performance was evaluated
- The salespeople were given a sales training course on the peculiarities of the company and the gaps highlighted
- A “sales disk” was created based on the type of customer
- A team leader has been appointed with the task, and a small additional salary, of supporting the rest of the sales team
- One business meeting is held a month of approximately one hour
- All sellers are offered sales rewards, but those who perform better have additional incentives
- At the end of the year, based on the objectives achieved, all salespeople are given a final prize
Which of these two companies sells more and better? The answer is obviously B! This is because in company B some improvement activities have been started in the sales department supported by efficient tools, thanks to analytical marketing.
First steps to increase sales of the commercial network
First of all, it is necessary to prepare a check-up of the current Marketing and Commercial situation to identify where and how to intervene because the same tools applied to different companies do not necessarily give the same results.
On the basis of the information received, it is good to draw up, if necessary, a Marketing Plan and, if this has already been implemented, the creation of a Commercial Plan may be enough.
Do you want to create a unique Business Plan? Here’s what you need!
If there is no Commercial Director capable of implementing a sales plan, the help of a consultant must be sought who, in addition to being a professional in his field, is able to give objective and impartial support also because he is not influenced. from relations with the company.
In realizing a good business plan, it is crucial to address the following issues.
Medium and long-term goals
- For single product / service
- Geographic area
- By commercial sector (agents or other sales departments)
- Management, control and training of the sales force
- Resources used
- Commercial strategies
- Sales support tools and activities
The plan also identifies the manager or consultant who will have to follow all the activities and carry them out according to the established objectives.
It is always possible to make upgrades or small changes in the course of work on the basis of market changes and in agreement with top management.
A consultant and / or a business plan are useful or not! Where is the truth?
Some entrepreneurs think that having a good product is enough to make good sales, but this is not entirely true, in fact CocaCola, which is the best-selling product in the world, invests billions in Marketing in different forms: advertising, merchandising, sponsorships, etc. etc.
Otherwise there are those who think that a good network of aggressive and motivated agents are the key to success, but if this were true, Kobold, a company that has made salespeople its cornerstone, would not invest in creating the restyling of its products every year. (Elf and Thermomix).
So the truth lies in the middle : to create an efficient sales department you must have a good product, and have a complete and exhaustive commercial plan to do marketing in a structured way.
The dedicated professional
Did you rely on a professional to create the IT network of your company or did you personally take care of it?
Did you ask a sign company to install the luminous sign of your office or did you make it yourself?
Here, for the realization of your commercial plan and to improve sales, you have to use the same reasoning, get help from those who do this by trade who, together with your contribution, will be able to provide you with a definitive and tailored solution to have a winning sales system. .
If you do not agree with the above, I invite you to NOT contact me , if instead you agree with the statements clarified on this page then you are ready to get in touch and implement your “Commercial Strategy” with an effective “Sales System”, proceed by filling out the form below.
Complete guide to creating a sales network
This guide is used to create your own commercial network without dedicated consultancy,
Therefore some activities are described to improve the commercial department of a company.
The seller is a precious means to collect information “in the field”, for this reason the company must pay the utmost attention to the organization of the sales force. In every marketing consultancy we always devote particular attention to the commercial department.
Our commercial support plans are mainly aimed at the organization and management of the commercial network, and in particular:
- Function of the sales network
- Recruitment and selection
- Type of sales network
- Sales training
- Choice of the sales network
- Control of the sales force
- Organization of the sales force
- The motivation of the sellers
- Definition of training
- The evaluation of the sellers
- Definition of remuneration
“The sales network is the set of human resources available to the company to reach distribution intermediaries or the final consumer. ”
Functions of the sales network
The functions of the sales network must be made their own and implemented by each seller, the main ones are:
Sale: which consists of searching for customers, maintaining those acquired, collecting orders and checking the delivery status of the goods.
Customer service: customer support, consultancy and assistance activities
Collection of information: primary function, as the seller is the only one able to perceive the real needs of the customers and report them to the management and / or the commercial director.
Type of sales network
The type of sales network can be: direct, indirect or mixed.
Direct sales network: consisting of salespeople linked to the company by an employment relationship.
Indirect sales network: it is based on the use of independent collaborators, not bound to the company by an employment relationship.
Mixed sales network: combination of the two different types.
The choice is agreed with the management and / or with the commercial director, if present.
Choice of the sales network
The choice of the sales network is subject to the evaluation of important factors, as follows.
Cost structure: if you use a direct sales network, fixed costs prevail, while if you use an indirect sales network, variable costs prevail.
Customer volume: if you want to reach few customers or keep the average of the moment, it is advisable to use a direct sales network; when the clientele, on the other hand, is distributed over a large area, and therefore it is necessary to reach more subjects, an indirect sales network is advisable.
Geographic concentration of customers : when the geographic concentration is well defined, it is advisable to use a direct network. Otherwise, when customers are spread over a large and not well-defined area, it is preferable to use an indirect sales network.
Type of clientele: when it is necessary to reach large / medium-sized enterprises, it is advisable to use the direct sales network, as the seller will be able to develop a relationship (being more linked to the company) instead of simply selling; developing a relationship with the company increases the possibility for the same seller to suggest more proposals. To reach individuals, it is advisable to use the indirect sales network, not forgetting that good customer loyalty can develop and bring new contacts.
Sales performance: some salespeople may be more productive and others less so, bearing in mind the characteristics of each, it is useful to have the first ones manage the most “important” customers.
Organization of the sales force
The strategy of the sales force also affects the organization, so there are several ways to organize the sales force:
- By areas
- By product
- By market
- By type of customer
A wrong choice on how to shape the structure of the sales force can cause a collapse of the sales system which, if not improved, can cause a chain reaction of wasted time, ineffective interventions and even economic damage. Then it will be necessary to re-create the structure and a new strategy of the sales force.
Definition of training
The training of a salesperson is a necessary and vital condition of the sales process, to offer an optimal and professional service to customers.
It is important to train but, above all, to create a permanent updating system , to satisfy the needs of customers and follow the changes in the market: the elements that most vary with the passage of time.
To define training and updating process we deal with:
- Create a commercial technical training module
- Create a training module on commercial arguments
- Create a training module on managing negotiations based on specific customer categories (technicians, companies and individuals)
Provide marketing concepts for market research and information exchange
Continuously update the entire training system
Vendor training programs help vendors achieve the following skills and knowledge:
- The seller will know the company and identify with it
- The seller will know the company’s products in detail
- The seller will be able to know the data of his customers and competitors
- The seller will have acquired the necessary knowledge on sales procedures and functions
Finally, the seller will be able to make an effective sales presentation
The definition of the remuneration must be pre-established and clarified with each seller as the interested party will also derive their reasons from it. Entering a seller without establishing precisely what his remuneration will be can create false expectations and, consequently, a collaboration that is not profitable for both parties and generate disagreements.
To have an effective sales network, the best sellers must be attracted as far as possible . To do this, it is necessary to develop an important and stimulating remuneration system.
As is normal, salespeople aspire to steady and regular pay backed by performance-based compensation.
There are generally 4 constituents of remuneration:
The fixed part – aims to satisfy the seller’s aspiration for a certain income stability
The variable part – consisting of commissions or premiums
Expense reimbursement – allows sellers to meet the expenses related to travel, food, etc., etc.
Benefits – award travel, end-of-year awards, etc., with the aim of increasing the sense of satisfaction and safety linked to the work performed
Recruitment and selection
During this phase, attention must be paid to the considerable waste of time and money, caused by the recruitment of personnel who prove to be unsuitable to carry out the sales activity. Before choosing the sellers, the characteristics or skills to be sought must be precisely established .
This can be done in two ways:
Ask your customers or, if possible, those of competing firms, which personality they prefer;
Identify the common characteristics of successful sellers
The search for characteristics facilitates recruitment because you will have broad guidelines for choosing the ideal candidate.
Customers expect salespeople to have in-depth knowledge of the product, offer useful ideas for solving problems, and be efficient and reliable.
These aspects require the company to invest in training the sales network; also to avoid the occurrence of problems such as what sellers sometimes have when, under pressure from customers, they grant discounts higher than those pre-established in the company.
Our sales training plans aim for
“Sell the price” and not “sell by price”
A training program must guarantee the following skills and knowledge:
* The seller should know the company and identify with it
* The seller should know the firm’s products
* The seller should know the characteristics of customers and competitors
Already said in a broader and more satisfactory way in the previous point
Control of the sales force
We are able to create plans for the control of the sales force which, at a later time, will be managed by the commercial management with the support of our Company.
The control, of course, will be different for commission-paid sellers, lighter, while it will be more rigid for those on a fixed salary who have to reach certain customers.
The motivation of the sellers
A salesperson’s motivation is the key to their success. If the motivation is high, the commitment is greater and, consequently, the results, rewards and satisfaction are better.
External sellers are faced with some critical aspects:
- The seller works alone
- Its hours are not regular
- It is competing with competitors’ sellers
- He doesn’t always have the authorization to do what it takes to close a sale
Our motivation plans serve to:
Motivate salespeople to engage and provide more training to increase sales;
Assure sellers that increased sales effort leads to (normally expected) reward increases .
Other factors that can foster greater motivation can be:
- Periodic meetings between the commercial management and the sellers with the participation of the Company that deals with the marketing sector
- Sales tenders
- Ad Hoc Awards
The evaluation of the sellers
The evaluation of the sellers is the only parameter that clarifies to the Company whether a seller is effective or not.
We are able to offer our customers support to create a Sales Information System , SIV system . The most important source of information is the periodic reports from sellers. Other information derives from observations, reports and customer complaints.
Vendor reports can be of two types:
Plan for future business – The plan describes the expected visits and the path the seller intends to follow. This report is to encourage the salesperson to plan and schedule their activities in advance, and will also serve the Sales Manager to verify the results.
Reports of completed activities – The description of the visits made and the results will confirm the seller and will be used by the Sales Manager to validate the results.
The Sales Director will have to collect and catalog all information on the sellers in a structured and organized way, in order to be able to compare the present with the past.
Some parameters can be:
- Net turnover
- Average product discount
- Total commissions from product
- Number of visits
- Number of portfolio customers
- Number of new customers
- Number of lost customers
- Average turnover per customer
With these and other requested data, it is possible to evaluate the performance of a seller and verify its evolution and, subsequently, its possibility to improve.
The detailed reports on each seller will provide useful data to carry out support or end of collaboration actions:
- Support – Improvement of the seller’s information system – commercial and technical arguments
- Support – Improvement of salesman training – on the management of negotiations based on specific customer categories
- End of Collaboration Decision
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