Systematize Your Sales Process Today
You may have talented salespeople, but if there is no scientific procedure in place, you will be missing out on much of their potential sales. It is the responsibility of management to train their sales force to apply sound territory and key accounts management. Nevertheless, the individual salesperson, even in the absence of management support, should take the initiative to learn these to improve performance.
The field of sales territory and key account management is vast, but to give you a broad idea of the subject, here are some of the topics that must be covered:
Profiling your sales force. It is essential to know the capabilities and attitudes of your sales force; it is only in knowing this that you can draw up a realistic sales plan. An example of this is if you plan to emphasize the technical superiority of your product—you must be sure that your sales force is trained to explain this in a convincing manner to your target market.
Profiling your customers. The second stage is knowing about your customers. There is virtually an unlimited amount of information that you can gather about your customer. You need to gather who are the contacts in each organization, the type of items purchased, the size of the company, those who will influence the purchasing decision, the buying process, and many more.
Setting up the sales territory and key accounts management. The borders of the area per salesperson must be defined to prevent overlap and conflict. Often, the territory is not a geographical area but a type of customer or product line. Currently, there is another area, the online market, which is steadily growing in some industries. The company must study what is the most suitable way of segmenting for their product or service. You would also need to identify the key accounts. These are the large accounts that need special attention, and they may be so critical that higher management are sometimes also involved in their account.
Systematizing the selling process. There has to be certain procedures that are standardized as soon as they are known to be beneficial. Although there must be some measure of flexibility, the sales force must follow certain rules to avoid problems and to improve their productivity. Sales strategies and tactics are taught and there are many companies that even prescribe the exact sales pitches. In doing this, management must ensure that the activities of their sales force are aligned with the objectives of the company.
Sales is one of the most important functions of any company. However, it is this area that has fallen behind manufacturing and other departments in applying scientific procedures. But the marketplace has proven that it is no longer sufficient to rely on the skill of the sales force. Intense competition is now forcing companies from virtually all industries to adapt modern methods of sales management in order to survive.
To know more about this topic, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, will be conducting a seminar entitled, “Territory and Key Accounts Management.” Contact (02) 727- 5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133 or visit www.businesscoachphil.com for details.
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*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.