Tag Archives: FAME

Are Your Sales Team Managing You?

I don’t mind admitting, in certain things, I like to think of myself a bit of a perfectionist – one of those is the creation, and continuation, of positive customer perception.

I’m also well aware, that certain teams I’ve managed in the past, thought I worried about that kind of thing far too much.

But there’s a phrase I once heard a top Chef say, that sums up my feelings perfectly.

“Never let your mistakes leave the kitchen!”

Perception is reality – and someone else’s perception of you, the way they believe you are, is their reality.

Someone else’s account of the brilliant service they received at a restaurant matters not a jot if that wasn’t your experience, you will create your own perception on what happens to you.

So, during my very first management role, I decided that everything that left the desk or computers of my team would be a direct reflection on the way I ran the operation to anybody viewing it externally.

Having worked hard to achieve a half decent reputation in previous roles, I was aware that certain buyers were only booking initial appointments with my new account management team because they had been treated professionally and effectively by me in the past.

Therefore, I spent a great deal of time ensuring that I retained that perception by keeping a careful watch over everything that left the office.

However, I didn’t realise what I was letting myself in for.

They were creating letters that resembled thank you notes from a ten year-old, proposals that I can only assume were put together on the way in to work and their presentations had the professionalism of a high school PowerPoint project.

So I worked late, I polished that rubbish until it looked good enough for human consumption – everything that left that sales office looked so good it could have been written by me.

And do you know why? Because on most occasions, it had been written by me!

I remember perfectly the exact evening this all came to a climatic end.

I was in my office – an hour and a half hard drive from home – it was eight o’clock at night. I was polishing up a proposal for a fairly senior, but lazy regional manager, and I decided to give him a call to discuss the project we were both working on.

I had missed my children’s bedtime, I hadn’t eaten since my hurried sandwich hours earlier, the cleaners were the only other people in the building and the Account Manager – who I thought would follow me to the ends of the earth because of the dedication and loyalty that I was currently showing him and the cause – said;

“Can you give me a call tomorrow about ‘10ish’; I’m just in the pub doing personal stuff!”

When we talk about ACCOUNTABILITY in regards to the Sales Management FAME Effect, we ask the question – WHO – as in “Whose job is it?”

I mentioned in my last articleAs a sales manager it is not your job to hit the sales target – it’s your job to ensure the target gets hit!

Subtle difference in words – massive difference in results.

So, if you’re an over worked, underappreciated sales manager; here’s a question I want you to think about. Let’s see whether you’re focusing your efforts in the right direction and being as effective as you possibly could be – or whether you’re just acting like some kind of sales martyr, working yourself to death without anyone ever actually noticing.

Ask yourself this;

“Who is better off – The Manager who earns £1,150 (£60Kpa) for a 60 hour working week or the team members who earn £770 (£40K pa) and work a 35 hour week?”

Sure you get the big bucks in every pay packet, but by the hour you’re actually earning 15% less.

If you went for a job interview and were told that – as the manager you’d be earning £19 per hour – and your sales team would be earning £22 per hour – you’d think they were mad.

And yet without getting FOCUS and ACCOUNTABILITY right – the first two sections of the FAME Effect – that’s probably exactly what you’ll end up doing.

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To launch my latest book – The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME – I’m holding a number of FAME Sales Management Workshops throughout September.

The UK Workshop is taking place at the beautiful Mottram Hall in Cheshire on Thursday 25 September – and to ensure that I get to spend the appropriate amount of time with each of those attending, places are extremely limited.

I hope you can make it – together with a full day’s management training and all workshop materials, those attending will also receive a signed pre-publication copy of the new book and four exercises exclusive to this workshop to take back and use with their teams at their quarterly sales meetings.

I’d be delighted if you could join me on the day – if you can, take a look here for more details.

Best regards

Chris Murray

Managing Director – Varda Kreuz Training and Author of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club and The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME

T: 0844 293 9777

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Filed under FAME, Sales Management, Self Improvement

Sales Team or Manager – the Buck Stops Where?

When things go wrong in the world of sales, which direction do you think the buck should gravitate towards and where do you think it should eventually stop? At the feet of the sales team or the sales manager?

When you think about the phrase “The Buck Stops Here”, whereabouts on the scale, would you place yourself between these two camps;

Would you be the manager who accepts the blame for everything? Takes it on the chin, goes down with the ship? Would you offer to fall on your sword if the team failed?

or

Are you the manager who sits around the boardroom table with your fellow hierarchy, all shaking your heads, dismayed at how the sales team just don’t get it? Discussing how you did everything you possibly could for them – but the team just weren’t up to the job?

I explained in an earlier article the four pieces of the sales management jigsaw that come together to create what I like to call the FAME Effect;

  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Motivation
  • Education

And it’s the second one – ACCOUNTABILITY – that makes us ask – WHO as in “Whose job is it?”

Yes, of course the sales teams are responsible for hitting their own targets, for slowly bringing their individual slices of achievement back to the company table, one by one, until you’ve put together a perfect and complete Success Pie.

But they’re only ever responsible for their own slice – the sales manager will always be the one responsible for the whole thing.

That may seem obvious so far – but let’s change the scenario for a minute;

What if you managed a team who peeled potatoes?

Let’s say that your target is to have 500 crates of potatoes peeled every day – and you manage a team of people who peel them for you.

What would happen, if one day, the company decided to get rid of the people and replaced them with potato peeling machines – what would your job be then?

Answerexactly the same, it wouldn’t have changed – your job, would still be to ensure that 500 crates of potatoes were peeled – because that’s what you manage.

Same thing applies with a sales team.

As a sales manager it is not your job to hit the sales target – it’s your job to ensure the target gets hit!

Subtle difference in words – massive difference in results.

So, if it’s ACCOUNTABILITY that makes us ask – WHO – as in “Whose job is it?” – then my definition of Accountability (as far as FAME Sales Management goes) is this;

As the Manager you are responsible for;

  • The way that you’re perceived – internally and externally.
  • Making sure your team understand exactly what it is the business needs them to achieve.
  • Helping them to achieve it (that doesn’t mean doing it for them).
  • Explaining to the team, in no uncertain terms, that this small part of international industry now falls under their watch.
  • Hiring the good ones, guiding back those who have lost their way, nurturing and developing those with promise and of course, advising a few that it would be best for all concerned if they furthered their careers elsewhere.
  • Keeping your part of the business in business
  • Taking complete control of, and understanding, where this road will eventually take you.
  • Understanding the 3 types of sales people and recognising who’s who on your team.

While every member of your Team is responsible for;

  • Making your job as easy as possible
  • Turning up every day with the right attitude
  • Achieving their goals and targets
  • The perception of you, your team and the company they work for externally
  • The perception of you and your entire team internally
  • Asking for help when they need it
  • Keeping their part of the business “in business”

************************************************************

To launch my latest book – The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME – I’m holding a number of FAME Sales Management Workshops throughout September.

The UK Workshop is taking place at the beautiful Mottram Hall in Cheshire on Thursday 25 September – and to ensure that I get to spend the appropriate amount of time with each of those attending, places are extremely limited.

I hope you can make it – together with a full day’s management training and all workshop materials, those attending will also receive a signed pre-publication copy of the new book and four exercises exclusive to this workshop to take back and use with their teams at their quarterly sales meetings.

I’d be delighted if you could join me on the day – if you can, take a look here for more details.

Best regards

Chris Murray

Managing Director – Varda Kreuz Training and Author of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club and The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME

T: 0844 293 9777

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Sales Managers – How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

FAME Remembered Jigsaw

A quick exercise for Sales Managers and Sales Directors, that will enable you to work out what you’re really trying to achieve.

There are four pieces of the sales management jigsaw that come together to create the FAME Effect;

  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Motivation
  • Education

During our FAME Workshops we view the first – FOCUS – from a number of different angles.

It’s FOCUS that makes us ask – WHAT – as in “What jobs really need doing?”

Which is all fine and dandy – almost the easiest bit to achieve – for all the external stuff like the sales figures you need to hit, or where you want your brand to be in three years’ time – but what about you? 

Where are you going to end up in this plan? What bits of this really matter to YOU?

Getting focused is great for creating your overall vision and setting your goals, but have you ever considered how you – the one who manages the sales team – want to be spoken about when the Board meet up to discuss next year’s promotions and pay-rises?

Now, you might think that that’s not a very important question – but, trust me, if you really want to FOCUS on the real goals – the important stuff – and create a compelling vision that people will be inspired by, then you’ve got to work out how you feel about the things that really matter to you.

You can’t simply plan this stuff from where you are right now, from your current viewpoint – what you’ve got to do is look right to the end – and then work backwards.

So How Do Sales Managers and Sales Directors Figure Out What They’re Really Trying to Achieve?

Try out the exercise below, and I’ll bet you discover one or two key elements – missing from your current plans – which actually define your true version of success. 

Imagine it’s the last day at your current job – members of your sales team, all your peers and colleagues, the entire board of directors and even a few of your favourite customers are gathering to watch you make a little speech and share out the supermarket celebration cake.

Just then, four people step forward and say;

“Due to your outstanding contribution, we’d like to say a few words, if that’s OK?”

These four people are;

  • Someone representing your entire team / direct reports (past and present)
  • Someone representing all of your team’s customers (past and present)
  • Someone representing the heads of all the other departments in the company
  • The Big Boss

So, what would you want them to say?

Write down the four headings.

FAME - How Do You Want to be Remembered

Take around five minutes per person and write down a shorthand version of all the actions and personality traits that you would like people to remember you by and the activities and results of your team which you would be proud to be associated with.

Now – take a look at that list.

What do you need to FOCUS on to make each and every comment a reality?

Now, take your existing business plan, mission statement and vision – and start to figure out, how you’re going to make sure that it’s more than just the numbers that are achieved at the end of each year.

************************************************************

To launch my latest book – The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME – I’m holding a number of FAME Sales Management Workshops throughout September.

The UK Workshop is taking place at the beautiful Mottram Hall in Cheshire on Thursday 25 September – and to ensure that I get to spend the appropriate amount of time with each of those attending, places are extremely limited.

I hope you can make it – together with a full day’s management training and all workshop materials, those attending will also receive a signed pre-publication copy of the new book and four exercises exclusive to this workshop to take back and use with their teams at their quarterly sales meetings.

I’d be delighted if you could join me on the day – if you can, take a look here for more details.

Best regards

Chris Murray

Managing Director – Varda Kreuz Training and Author of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club and The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME

T: 0844 293 9777

Leave a comment

Filed under Management Training, Personal Development, Sales Management, Sales Targets, Self Improvement