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Part V

SALES FORCE
ACTIVITIES

Chapter 9:

Leadership
Figure 9-1: Leadership Skills

Intuition Empowerment

Leadership
Value
skills Vision
Congruence

Self-understanding
“HAVING A LITTLE CHAT”
“Jennifer, I thought we’d have a little chat. I don’t get
the pleasure of just talking with you very often. I guess
we just tend to spend most of our time on our problems.
Good people like you tend to be taken for granted. This
is your sixth year with us, right? I wanted to let you
know that it has been a pleasure working with you over
that time. Incidentally, I was a little surprised to hear
that some of your customer reports have been
incomplete. Some of the clerks have even had to call
some of your people in order to fill in the missing
information.
“I told them that you’re probably so busy out there
getting us so much business that you’re tired when it
comes to the reports. But it would save us time and
money if you could be more complete. I’m sure you’ll
take better care of this in the future. That’s what gives
me so much pleasure in dealing with pros like you. See
a problem. Fix it. No big deal. Anyway, I know you’ll
take care of it.
“CUSTOMER ABUSE”
One day in the office, you overhear one of your
salespeople being loudly abusive to a customer over the
phone. Right after he slams the phone down, you
mention: “That was a pretty heated exchange. Sounds
to me as if you lost it.”
“Well, she’s a pain. She’s always complaining about one
thing or the other, none of which is important and often
not true. On top of it all, she’s rude.”
“I thought you were pretty rough, telling her that if she
doesn’t like how her orders are handled, she can take
her business elsewhere.”
“She won’t.”
“That’s not the point. We don’t get nasty with
customers. Next time that happens, and you start
getting hot, I want you to tell the customer that you’ll
look into the problem and get back to him. Hang up.
Cool down. Find out what you need to know. And then
call back. Do you understand? I don’t ever want to hear
a conversation like that again.”
ASSERTIVNESS STEPS

Describe what you see going on:


 “We agreed you’d make 16 calls per week.
You’re averaging 11.”

Describe how you feel about what is


going on:
 “I’m puzzled, I can’t tell from your reports what
you’re doing. I’m frustrated because each time
we have this talk you say you will live up to your
end of the agreement.”
ASSERTIVNESS STEPS

Be precise in the change you want


 “One more time. I expect you to do what we’ve
agreed on: an average of 16 calls per week.”

Mention the benefit of the change


to the other person
 “Living up to our agreement is the only way I can
give you a good appraisal. And you can’t afford
more than one bad or mediocre appraisal
RESPONSIVNESS STEPS

What does the other person see going on?


 “Yes, I know I’m not making the 16 calls.”

How does the person feel about it?


 I’m upset. In fact, I’m furious. We’ve been having
all sorts of delivery and installation problems. It
seems I spend half my time on the phone with the
plant straightening out problems. I’ve called you,
but you always seem tied up.”
RESPONSIVNESS STEPS
What change does the other person
desire in you?
 “I don’t call you unless the problem is very
serious. So I would like you to get back to me
when I’ve got a problem that I think it serious
enough to bother you with.”

What are the benefits of the change


for the other person?
 “There are at least two. I produce better, because
I have time. And the company has better customer
relations, because I know that other people in the
field have also experienced my kind of problem.”
CHANGE MANAGEMENT
PROCESS
 Assessment - examination of the customer
environment in which the company operates.
 Redesign - initiatives based on three interrelated
tasks:
− Customer orientation - know customer buying
process.
− Sales strategy - deployment of sales resources and
buyer segmentation.
− Selling processes - determined by the segment of
buyer.
 Measurement - determine the indicators of
successful change.
 Sales Support Programs - programs to support
and reward implementation of the change
program.
How Change Oriented are
You?

Instructions:
To find out to what degree you like change, use the
following scale in responding to the following
eighteen statements. There is no right or wrong
answer. Rather, the intent is to help you explore
your attitudes toward change.

SA = Strongly Agree
A = Agree
? = Undecided
D = Disagree
SD = Strongly Disagree
How Change Oriented are
You?

1. I try new ideas and new SA A ? D


approaches to problems. SD
2. I take things or situations SA A ? D
apart to find out how they work. SD
3. I can be counted on by my SA A ? D
friends to find a new use for SD
4. existing
Amongmethods.
my friends, I’m SA A ? D
usually the first person to try SD
5. out a new idea.originality.
I demonstrate SA A ? D
SD
6. I like to work on a problem that SA A ? D
has caused others great SD
difficulty.
How Change Oriented are
You?
7. I plan on developing contacts
with experts in my field located SA A ? D
in different companies or SD
departments.
8. I plan on budgeting my time and SA A ? D
money for the pursuit of novel SD
ideas.
9. I make comments at meetings SA A ? D
on new ways of doing things. SD
10. If my friends were asked, they SA A ? D
would say I’m a wit. SD
11. I seldom stick to the rules or SA A ? D
follow protocol. SD
12. I discourage formal meetings to SA A ? D
discuss things. SD
How Change Oriented are
You?
13. I usually support a friend’s
SA A ? D
suggestion on new ways to do
SD
things.
14. I probably will not turn down SA A ? D
ambiguous job assignments. SD
15. People who depart from the
SA A ? D
accepted organizational routine
SD
should not be punished.
16. I hope to be know for the quantity
of my work rather than the quality SA A ? D
of my work when starting a new SD
17. project.
I must be able to find enough
SA A ? D
variety of experience on my job or I
SD
will leave it.
18. I am going to leave a job that SA A ? D
doesn’t challenge me. SD
How Change Oriented are
You?
Scoring:
Give yourself the following points for each circled
response.
SA = 5 points
A = 4 points
? = 3 points
D = 2 points
SD = 1 point

Interpretation:
Total your scores for all responses. The higher the
score, the more willing you are to be innovative and
welcome change. A score of 72 or greater is high; a
score of 45 or less is low. Innovative people like to
create change; non-innovators have a tendency to
maintain status quo.
Figure 9-2: Four Leadership Styles
High

Supportive Behavior Supporting Selling

Delegating Telling

Lo Directive Behavior High


w
Figure 9-4:
Internal Systems of a Group

Activities

Norms Interactions

Sentiments
Leadership Factors in Sales
Management
Sales Manager
SKILLS POWER STYLES
 Empowerment  Legitimate  Directing
 Intuition  Reward  Coaching
 Self-understanding  Coercive  Supporting
 Vision  Referent  Delegating
 Value Congruence  Expert

 Sales Team  Situation


 Activities Salesperson’s  Task structure
 Interaction
Behavior  Time pressure
 Norms  External system
 Sentiments

 Salesperson
 Professional maturity
 Needs
 Goals
 Relationship with manager
“Jose Guerrilla”
You are the boss with the title, rank, experience,and all
the
accountability that comes with the job. You have the
feeling that your salespeople are not following many of
your orders. You wonder if you are becoming paranoid.
Although you are the formal leader, an informal leader
has emerged. It’s Jose Guerrilla.

Deliberately or not, he has become influential, even


playing amore dominant role than you. Jose is one of your
top salespeople, but is behaving like an underground
rebel. The group’s overall performance is quickly
dropping. Is there a connection?

You must correct the situation soon. You do not want to


lose Jose, he is a valuable salesperson, besides you really
like Jose. Ground rule #1, you have got to turn the
situation around. Why did an informal leader emerge?
How do you handle Jose? What can you do to prevent this
from reoccurring?
DECISION OPTIONS
“Jose Guerrilla”

1. Get the group together and remind them that you are the
boss. Tell them like it or not the ignoring of your orders must
and will stop.
2. Take Jose aside and tell him you “appreciate” the “help” in
managing the group. Tell Jose that by pulling together, you
can make the situation work out right for everyone.
3. Let nature take its course. Sit back and let Jose make a big
mistake that will cause him to lose favor with the group.
4. Take time to get to know Jose. When you know his career
objectives you will probably find that he is not after your job.
Use Jose to make your communications between yourself and
the group more efficient.
5. Talk to each member of the sales team separately. Let them
know that you know what is going on and that it is
tantamount to insubordination.
PROS & CONS
“Jose Guerrilla”

1. Appeals to the authoritarian manager but disregards the


possibility that the problem is that your interpersonal
communication skills are to blame.
2. Jose may not admit to being the guerrilla, but if he does and
accepts the bribe that you offer, the possibility that another
member of the group will assume the role cannot be ruled
out.
3. Highly risky and puts your rear in the frying pan as well as
Jose’s.
4. Jose could become a valuable link between you and your
team and possibly help you define interpersonal problems
and help you suggest possible solutions.
5. This solution might work with an unschooled or unskilled
labor force but not with the highly productive members of
your sales team.
Effectiveness in Selling New
Ideas or Programs

Are the Following Statements True or


False?
• You should try to sell an idea to the "natural"
leaders first.
• Thoroughly explaining the reasons for a change
will invariably turn resistance into cooperation.
• Getting to know your people well is one of the
best ways to obtain control over their
resistance to change.
Effectiveness in Selling New
Ideas or Programs

Are the Following Statements True or


False?
(Continued)
2. It's usually better to hold a meeting to
address the entire sales force about a change
that will affect them.
3. You should inform your sales force as far in
advance as possible about changes that will
affect them.
4. When you propose a program or an idea, you
are unlikely to encounter resistance except on
the most important issues involved.
COACHING

Situation Important Points


Prior to 1. Who is being called on?
Sales
2. What happened last time?
Call
3. Objective of call?
4. Objections may arise?
5. How to handle objections?
6. Who are key players?
7. Developmental points last
call?
COACHING

Situation Important Points


During 1. Let salesperson control the call.
the sales
2. Answer necessary questions
call
briefly.
After the 1. Ask for self-evaluations.
sales call
2. Reinforce positive.
3. Suggest effective responses.
4. Keep records.
Additional Suggestions for
Coaching Salespeople

1. Instead of criticizing them, repeatedly tell


salespeople what you like about their
performance.
2. Help salespeople improve by giving them “how
to” advice.
3. Insist that salespeople evaluate themselves in
order to develop their evaluative abilities
regarding their own work habits and
performance.
4. Ask questions to ensure the salesperson is
actively involved.
Additional Suggestions for
Coaching Salespeople

1. Make the most of resources that are available to


you, such as special training materials and so on.
2. An agreement between you and the salesperson
should be arrived at regarding corrective actions
to be taken.
3. Keep records of specific standards of
performance, including how performance will be
measured and by what date.
4. The salesperson should be shown these records
when they are written to avoid any
misunderstandings.
Table 9-1:
Sales Managers’ Rankings of the Causes
of Plateauing Among Salespeople
Overal Mostly Commissio
l Women n Only
No clear career path 1 2 4
Not managed adequately 2 4 1
Bored 3 3 5
Burned out 4 1 2
Economic needs met 5 7 3
Discouraged with company 6 5 6
Overlooked for promotion 7 6 8
Lack of ability 8 9 7
Avoid risk of management 9 10 9
job
Reluctance to be 10 8 10
transferred
“Hot Shot”
When asked the question, “Are you a winner?” Hot Shot answers, “Well,
how did you know?” When dealing with this type of personality it is best
to keep a cool head.
Although she is a top salesperson, meeting or beating quotas, she is
clearly a victim of tunnel vision. High productivity is a great asset to have
in an employee, but she believes that this asset alone is reason for a
managerial position.
Hot Shot has heard an incorrect rumor that a district sales manager
position is opening and believes that she deserves the job. She shows
no tact in letting everyone know her feelings. History has shown that
although she is an excellent salesperson, she is quite a loner. In your
opinion she isn’t ready for a job with the responsibilities of a district sales
manager. You have a reputation of being fair and rewarding outstanding
achievements.
“Hot Shot”
There is not need to change your style now, but you have just received a
letter from Hot Shot. She is very direct and states, “I have worked long
and hard for this company and have always been the top salesperson. I
have no complaints at all about salary, or the commission and bonus
plans. I want you to recognize that I feel I am totally ready for a sales
manager’s job, the next one that opens up. It is important for me to tell
you that if this company cannot use my talents, I have only one choice to
make. What say?”
The letter enrages you but you realize that you cannot fire her or give
her a job that does not even exist. In fact it is your job to keep her self-
esteem and energy as a salesperson intact since your job depends on
the productivity of your sales force. Your boss wants to know exactly
how you are going to handle this one.
DECISION OPTIONS
“Hot Shot”
1. Make a sincere promise to Hot Shot that she
will get the next manager's spot that opens.
2. To give Hot Shot more recognition you send
her and her husband to the national sales
convention with the company picking up the
tab.
3. Do not let the other salespeople think you give
into ultimatums. You consider the letter as a
letter of resignation and let Hot Shot go.
4. Make special managerial training available to
the sales group. Tell Hot Shot that when an
opening becomes available her excellent sales
record along with the techniques learned in
the course will place her among the top
applicants.
PROS & CONS
“Hot Shot”

1. Hot Shot has every reason to take your promise


seriously a problem that arises if at the time a
position opens you think another member of the
sales team is better suited for the job.
2. Some will consider this “industry bribery”. Hot
Shot could construe this to be an insult since she
clearly stated that she was happy with the money
and benefits she was already receiving.
PROS & CONS
“Hot Shot”

1. A good sales manager is as hard to find if not


harder to find than a good sales representative.
If you allow Hot Shot to leave, one of your
competitors will doubtless hire her immediately,
leaving you with a stronger competitor and a
weaker sales team.
2. Probably the best choice. You explain to Hot
Shot that the criterions used to choose the next
sales manager will include: sales record, group
interaction, and effort put forth in seminars,
workshops, home study, and night courses.
Termination Suggestions

 Establish a paper trail.


 Reasons for termination should be
specifically spelled out.
 When possible, offer an attractive
severance package and outplacement
services.
 The firing session should be brief.
 The firing session should be held at the
beginning of the week.
Table 9-2:
Women in Sales: Percentages by Industry
Percent of Women
Industry In Sales Force
Banking 24.7
Business services 30.3
Chemicals 9.1
Communications 34.7
Educational services 50.4
Electronics 19.6
Food products 28.5
Health services 45.1
Insurance 27.4
Miscellaneous manufacturing 17.6
Office equipment 24.1
Printing/publishing 38.9
Retail 20.0
Rubber/plastics 17.7
Transportation equipment 23.9
Wholesale (consumer) 19.5
Average 24.3
Harassment Suggestions

1. Conduct yourself professionally.

2. Dress appropriately.

3. Be cautious when drinking at business


functions.

4. Don’t listen to sob stories.

5. Avoid being alone when possible.

6. Use independent transportation.

7. Trust your instincts.