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SALES FORCE COMMUNICATIONS

Effective sales management control, measurement and motivation are dependent on efficient and effective communications.

In this segment, we will consider the broad communication process and link this with the main internal sales management methods of communicating through letters, meetings and conferences, so that an efficient and practical communications system can develop.

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WHEN DO YOU NEED TO

MEET YOUR SALESFORCE?

The time to hold a salesforce get together is when you need a sales meeting. A sales meeting is needed when you have a job to accomplish that can best be handled in a group meeting with the sales force. That usually means you have some information that you must deliver to them, you want to get them enthusiastic about some program, some common problem must be solved, or you must train them in some knowledge or skill needed by all of them.

In other words, you can use a sales meeting to:

• Inform

• Inspire

• Solve Problems

• Train



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WHY DO YOU NEED TO

MEET YOUR SALESFORCE

I would like to distinguish between an individual meeting between you and one or your salespeople, on the one hand, and gathering of two or more of your people with you or someone else in management, training or other non sales capacity. This latter encounter two or more salespeople and someone not engaged in selling for you is a sales conference, as I use the term.

Now let us see why sales conference should be held at all, their importance to you and the people, the objectives to be sought in conducting them and the benefit to be derived from them.

The following list of reasons for calling a conference should answer all the questions in the preceding paragraph:

There are many things you want to communicate to the salesperson which

are most economically and perhaps best said and demonstrated when all or

a group of them are together. For example:

• New products and services.

• New company or department objectives, policies, procedures, territories, quotas, compensation plans, people and markets.

• New campaigns, contests, deals, sales promotions, publicity.

• Announcements of special successes on the part of the company, the department or particular people.

• An inspirational talk or series of talks.

• Refresher training.

You may want to tap or palp the morale and feeling of the salespeople in

groups in order to stimulate their expression to you of their feelings because

one’s statements will lead to another's. (This, or course, if for the kinds of

feeling which are best elicited ensemble; others will best be left to individual

conferences.)





*You may want to discuss problems affecting some or all of them, get their suggestions and arrive at solutions applicable to all.

*Bringing the salespeople together is another way of making them feel part of the department and company and keeping their morale high.

*Certain types of meetings are rewards for good work.

*A good sales meeting is a valuable way of supervising the salesperson because you talk to them about their performance as a group and find out why certain things (not best left for individual conferences) are happening to some, most or all of them.

Of course, any one meeting may have more than one of the above objectives, and generally does.



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WHEN TO HOLD SALES MEETINGS

Of course, you will want to call a meeting of two or more of your salespeople, whenever a sufficient number of reasons have accumulated to warrant getting together with them jus as soon as possible. However, in addition to such contingencies, you should set up a regular schedule of sales meetings and stick to it whenever possible. This makes for more efficiency in the planning and running or meeting, gets the salesperson accustomed to them and permits regularity in the allocation of your over all time demands.

1. FORTNIGHT REVIEW MEETING

Meet your sales staff on an individual basis and review and plan specific activities.

2. MONTHLY SALES DEVELOPMENT MEETING

Meet with your team and discuss specific common problems plan for the next two months.

3. QUARTERLY SALES MEETING

Meeting with your team and audit your total sales operation. Plan for the next three months and include some short training session.

4. ANNUAL SALES CONFERENCE

Meet with your team. Review the last twelve months operation and results. plan the next twelve months objectives and target the associated activities. Include a two day training and development programme.



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CHECKLIST

FACTORS TO BE INCLUDED

IN A SALES MEETING

Individually

Review Sales Results and other important factors for control of your business.

As a Group

* Communicate:

• changes in policy or procedures

• any marketing items

• status of supply and stock holdings

• elements from the advertising campaign

• overall company results

• any other specific items or notices

* Obtain feedback from the sales force of trends, competitive activity, levels of

demand, suitability of marketing programs, any problems or other items

* Address any current issues, such as price rise, inventory problems,

competitive challenges, windfall opportunities, introduction of new products.

* Building on some of the above items, train and develop your people

+ Reinforce previous training

* Rekindle or build on enthusiasm, to motivate the team and individuals.

* Achieve necessary individual or group attitude change

+ Provide a meeting place an forum for exchange of ideas and views for the

sales people, building team spirit and morale.



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CHECKLIST

SUBJECTS FOR REVIEW MEETINGS

ONE TO ONE

• Not the golf, the match, the TV or the concert!

• Recent customer visits and any significant issues. (Don't spend time going over the things that are on target, only bother with the problems)

• Important customer calls for the next period. Any information required or difficult situations and how they could be handled

• Review of account plans (for those operating an account management system)

• Progress on any specific projects

• Any problem areas

• Actions on items from the previous meeting

• Any other business



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CHECKLIST

WHILE REVIEWING

THE SALES FIGURES

WITH YOUR SALES

REPRESENTATIVE

*Set a strict limit on the time to be devoted to the figures

*Have individual sales people review their own customers before the meeting and be able to comment on any variations from plan, either above or below

*Do not spend any time on figures which are on target

*Give recognition for figures which are on target

*Give recognition for figures which re above target, and try to get some understanding of the reasons For below target performance, try to turn the negative into the positive by aggressing on a positive action to address the problem. If nothing can be done about it, don't spend time wringing your hands in anguish, move onto something where some positive action can be taken

*Make your motto, 'recommendations not recriminations'.



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CHECKLIST

Subjects for Monthly

Meetings –in group

Meet with your team and discuss specific common problems then plan for the next month.

MAP Meeting guidelines

New Product Launch programme

New Product performance

Promotion drive

Display drive

Special Product drive

Announcements of special projects, policies, procedures

Common problems

Sales Simulation Practices

Monthly Performance Review

Public praise for exceptional work

Information on markets and competition

Monthly meetings are mostly meant for Business and Programme development.



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CHECKLIST

Subjects for Quarterly

Meeting= in group

Meet with your team and audit your total district sales operation. Plan for the next three months. Include some short training sessions.

Quarterly meetings are meant for business developments well as personal development.

*Review of the Audit/variances against the previous plans and targets

*Action Plan on variances

*Information on markets and on the competition

*New objectives, policies, procedures and practices

*New plans/targets for the following quarter

*New customers and/or emphasis on existing ones

*Refresher training in Sales/marketing

*Action Plan on weaknesses and areas for improvement

*Public praise for exceptional work and unusually good results



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CHECKLIST

Subjects for Annual

Meeting-- in group

Meet with your team. Review the last twelve months operation and results. Plan the next twelve months Objectives and Targets and associated activities. Include a one/two day training and development programme

Annual meetings are meant for Review, Planning Objectives/Target, Tactical Plans as well as personal development.

*Review of Actual performance against Objectives and Targets

*Forecasts and Budgets

*Set objectives and targets for the next year

*Develop tactics for achieving the territory objectives/targets

*Develop Accounts'plans

*Develop short term activity plan

*New Customer (Prospect) Development

*New forms, literature and sales aids

*New territories (if any)

*Economic, social or legal information's and data

*Competition

*Training/Refresher programme

*New terms of sale, credit, delivery policies

*New policies regarding travel expenses

*New regulations on expense accounts

*New reports and record keeping

*Supervisory comments on performance, achievments and problems *Announcements of all kinds





Wherever possible you should vary the techniques employed in running your conference and see to it that your co leaders do the same. Here is a list of the different kinds of techniques you may want to employ, alone or in combination.

,* Straight lecture or talk

*A question and answer period

*, Discussion.

* Case studies

* Problem solving situations

* Role playing

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REGARDS

LEO LINGHAM
31st July 2005 From India , Mumbai

Haritham
Employee
Leolingham2000
Management Consultant
Vivekp
Marketing
Vipool999
Business Development

Hi Leo,
How are you and its a Fantastic Flow of how the Sales People needs to meet with due intervals.
Your knowledge and experience is flowing great in the article and would request you to pls try and share some of the practical Case studies as that would be more on Hitting the Bull's Eye.
Hoping to Read more such exciting work of yours.
9th August 2005 From India , Mumbai
How To Motivate Your Salespeople

1. Motivate By Incentive - Give them something they want. People are extremely motivated by money, prizes, trips, etc. But CAUTION. Be careful about over using incentive motivation. The problem with over using incentive motivation is that you can create a monster. Once you set up the incentive program they can never get enough, or the opposite can occur. Once they’ve had their fill they don’t want it anymore and you have to find something else to entice them with.
2. Fear - Motivation through fear works, but it only works sparingly. Again, use fear motivation with caution. It can backfire very easily.
3. Attitude Motivation - Find out what really trips your salespeople’s trigger and inspire them around what drives them. This method is the most effective because people will do things because they want to. This is actually creating a self-motivating environment where achievement levels and peak performance sustain themselves.
15th November 2005 From India , Delhi
hi can one of you help me to get KRAs for international sales for IT domain Regards Haritha
21st July 2010 From India , Hyderabad
hi Leo,

thanks for this wonderful & easy to understand article, this is what we exactly follow in our various sales meets,

keep up your good work & share the knowledge,

best wishes

VIPUL JAIN


17th October 2010 From India , Bangalore
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