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Copyright © 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER 14

LEADING THE SALES TEAM

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The leader of a sales force must have a firm grasp of his
or her power and of the leadership behaviors from which
to choose. This chapter should help you understand:

 That leadership is an influence process.


 The many sources of a leader’s power and their
differences.
 The many facets involved in an integrative sales
manger’s model of leadership.
 That supervision, coaching, and counseling are
important leadership activities.
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THE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP

Leadership is the ability to influence other


people toward the attainment of objectives.

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LEADERS VERSUS MANAGERS
Management is the attainment of organizational
goals in an effective and efficient manner through:

• Planning
• Organizing
• Staffing
• Directing
• Controlling organizational resources

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A sales manager is a person whose job is the
management of sales resources – people and
budgets.

Leading is part of the manager’s directing


function.

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FIGURE 14.1 THE SALES MANAGER’S BEHAVIOR IS AN IMPORTANT INFLUENCE
ON THE SALESPERSON’S DECISION ON HOW MUCH EFFORT TO PUT INTO THE
JOB

L ea d er
M otiva tion
B eh a v i o r * P er fo r m a n ce R ew a r d
to W or k
a n d A ct i v i t i es

* L ea d er b eh a v i o r i s p a r t o f t h e o r ga n i z a t i o n a l f a ct o r s s h o w n i n t h e
m o t i v a t i o n a l m o d el i n C h a p t er 1 2 , F i g u r e 1 2 . 3 .

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AN INTEGRATIVE SALES
MANAGER’S MODEL OF
LEADERSHIP

Six factors are important for the attainment


of acceptable performance levels:

1. The sales manager.


2. The sales manager’s behavior and
activities.
3. The salesperson.
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Six factors are important for the attainment
of acceptable performance levels:
continued

4. The sales group.


5. The situation.
6. The salesperson’s behavior.

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FIGURE 14.2 A SITUATIONAL MODEL OF LEADERSHIP FOR SALES PERSONNEL

Sales Manager
• Personal Characteristics
• Needs and Motives
• Power
• Past Experience and
• Reinforcement
Salesperson
• Personal Characteristics
• Needs and Motives
• Performance Level Sales Manager's Behavior
• Past Experience Salesperson’s
and Activities
Behavior
• Tells • Supervision
• Persuades • Coaching Influence• Performance
• Satisfaction
Sales Group • Participates• Counseling
• Turnover
• Characteristics • Delegates
• Expectations
• Norms
• Sales Culture
Situation
• The Task Being Faced
• Organizational Factors
• Problem Faced
• Time Pressures

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THE SALES MANAGER

PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS
NEEDS AND MOTIVES
POWER
PAST EXPERIENCE AND REINFORCEMENT

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Power is the ability to influence the
behavior of others.

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Legitimate power comes from a formal
management position in an organization
and the authority granted to that position.

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Reward power stems from the leader’s
authority to bestow rewards on other
people.

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Coercive power is the opposite of reward
power: it is the leader’s authority to
punish or recommend punishment.

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Expert power is the result of a leader’s
special knowledge or skill regarding the
tasks followers perform.

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Referent power comes from the leader’s
personality characteristics that command
followers’ identification, respect, and
admiration, so they wish to emulate the
leader.

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THE SALES MANAGER’S
BEHAVIOR AND ACTIVITIES

The sales manager’s personality characteristics,


needs and motives, power, and past experiences
have a direct influence on the person’s natural
leadership style. Natural refers to how the
person really would prefer to behave toward a
salesperson.

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BEHAVIOR INFLUENCES SALESPEOPLE

A leader exhibits task behavior when describing


the duties and responsibilities of an individual or
group.
Relationship behavior is the extent to which the
leader uses two-way communication, not the one-
way communication of task behavior.

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FIGURE 14.3 FOUR BASIC LEADERSHIP STYLES THAT INFLUENCE
SALESPEOPLE

T a s k - O r i en t e d P eo p l e - O r i en t ed
L ea d er s h i p T el l s P er s u a d es P a r t i ci p a t es D e l eg a t es L ea d er s h i p
A p p r o a ch A p p r o a ch

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Style 1: Tells

Above-average levels of task behavior and


below-average levels of relationship behavior.

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Style 2: Persuades

Above-average amounts of both task and


relationship behavior.

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Style 3: Participates

Above-average levels of relationship behavior


and below-average levels of task behavior.

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Style 4: Delegates

Below-average levels of both task behavior and


relationship behavior.

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FIGURE 14.4 THE LEADERSHIP STYLES IN TERMS OF TASK AND
RELATIONSHIP BEHAVIOR

H igh
S a l es m a n a g er a n d S a l es m a n a g er m a k es
s a l es p er s o n d eci d e d eci s i o n w i t h d i s cu s s i o n
t o g et h er on w h y
C o n cer n fo r P eo p l e

S t y l e 3 : P a r t i ci p a t es S t y l e 2 : P er s u a d es

L o w T a sk H igh T a sk
H i g h P eo p l e H i g h P eo p l e

L o w T a sk H igh T a sk
L o w P eo p l e L o w P eo p l e

S t y l e 4 : D el eg a t es S t y l e 1 : T el l s

S a l es p er s o n S a l es m a n a g er
m a k es d eci s i o n m a k es d eci s i o n
L ow
L ow C o n cer n f o r T a s k H igh

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ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE SALESPEOPLE
The Supervision Activity
Supervision refers to the actual overseeing and
directing of the day-to-day activities of
salespeople.
The Coaching Activity
Coaching refers to intensively training someone on
the job through instruction, demonstration, and
practice.
The Counseling Activity
Counseling helps a person become a better-
adjusted human being within the work
environment.
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Indirect Supervisory Methods

• Call reports
• Expense reports
• Compensation
• Sales analysis reports

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Direct Supervisory Methods

• The telephone or e-mail


• Sales meetings
• Work withs

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During work withs, the manager meets
with each person in his or her sales
territory for reasons such as:
• Troubleshooting.
• Joining the sales pro in a team effort.
• Breaking in a new salesperson.
• Training a seasoned sales pro to sell a new
product.
• Introducing a seasoned sales pro to a new
territory.

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Presession Analysis and Planning
1. Review records
• Background
• Objective
• The session itself
• Developmental action
• Follow up
2. Notify salespeople
3. Schedule calls
4. Set length of coaching session
5. Prepare coaching checklist
6. Set the mood
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The Joint Sales Call
• Choosing an objective for the call.

• Selecting the major appeal to help achieve the


objective.
• Analyzing the prospect’s needs.
• Determining the most attractive benefits.
• Anticipating objections.
• Deciding on closing tactics.

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The manager must make two decisions:

• The manager’s role for the sales call.

• How best to observe the salesperson in


action.

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Postcall Discussions

Curbstone conferences, usually held in the car, are


brief post-call discussions about what has just
occurred in the customer’s place of business.

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Summary and Critique
• Define the sales rep’s problems or
opportunities for development.
• Outline the action you expect to be taken to
overcome the problem or to take advantage of
opportunities.
•Set up a time schedule, where applicable, for
taking corrective action you suggest.
• State the results you expect to be achieved.

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Some Counseling Principles

The purpose of counseling is not merely to deal


with the immediate problem but also to help the
employee learn methods for coping with future
difficulties.

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Three Categories of Problems

• Those that fall within a manager’s


competence and responsibility.
• Those that are beyond a manager’s ability to
handle, such as alcoholism, drugs, and deep,
prolonged depression.
• Those in which a manager is not sure whether
he or she is going to far.

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Possible Counseling Approaches

To the negative end of the continuum:


• Threatening
• Exhortation
• Lecturing

Next on the continuum:


• Reassurance
• Advice giving or suggestions
• Social reinforcement

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Possible Counseling Approaches continued

To the positive end of the continuum:


• Directive guidance
• Problem solving
• Nondirective guidance

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Types of Counseling:

• Performance counseling
• Career counseling.
• Job adjustment counseling
• Social adjustment counseling
• Personal adjustment counseling

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THE SALESPERSON

PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS
NEEDS AND MOTIVES
PERFORMANCE LEVEL
• Ability
• Motivation

PAST EXPERIENCE
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TABLE 14.2 GUIDELINES TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A
LEADERSHIP STYLE BASED ON PERFORMANCE LEVEL

SALESPERSON'S PERFORMANCE LEVEL


SALES MANAGER'S ABILITY MOTIVATION
LEADERSHIP STYLE LOW HIGH LOW HIGH
Tells X X
Persuades X X
Participates X X
Delegates X X

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Common needs of experienced salespeople:

• To be treated equally.
• Help with performance problems.
• Help overcoming the “greener grass”
syndrome.

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THE SALES GROUP

CHARACTERISTICS
• They have the ability to deal with the sales
situation.
• They are interested in the situation.
• They have a relatively high need for
independence.

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CHARACTERISTICS continued

• They have a relatively high tolerance for


ambiguity in the job.
• Past experience indicates they can do a good
job.
• They expect to participate in decision making.

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EXPECTATIONS

• Help them be successful.


• Hire competent coworkers.
• Provide adequate training, including
conducting effective sales meetings.
• Set responsible performance standards.
• Provide feedback on how they are doing.
• Give rewards based on performance.

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NORMS

Norms are the standards the group


establishes.

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SALES CULTURE
Descriptions for a leader:
•Enthusiastic
• Cheerleader
• Creator of champions
• Coach
• A professional

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TABLE 14.3 THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR BUILDING A SALES
CULTURE

1. Hire people who possess the funda- 3. Provide a good sales training
mental personal characteristics program.
needed for top performance. 4. Provide performance standards.
2. Eliminate roadblocks and chuckholes 5. Provide performance feedback.
to each person's success. 6. Provide appropriate rewards for out-
standing performance.

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THE SITUATION
The situation itself can influence the sales
manager’s behavior and effectiveness. Four
factors that influence the leader’s
effectiveness are:
• The task faced.
• The organizational factors
• The problem faced.
• The time pressures.
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THE BOTTOM LINE
As one of the most important elements affecting sales force
performance, leadership is defined as a process by which
one individual attempts to influence the activities of others
on matters of importance in a given situation.
Power is a tool sales managers use to influence the sales
force.
The choice of leadership behaviors to use depends on the
relationships involved in the integrative leadership model.
The sales manager’s behavior is based on that individual’s
personality, needs and motives, power, and past
experience.
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THE BOTTOM LINE
The appropriate leadership style depends a great deal on
the individual salesperson.
The sales group is the third factor in the integrative
leadership model.
Circumstances surrounding an individual situation, such as
the task faced and the amount of time allotted to complete
the task, also can affect a leader’s management style.
Organizational factors also have a bearing on a leader’s
effectiveness.
The final factor in the integrative leadership model is the
salesperson’s behavior.
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