Help Your People (And Yourself) To Success

The word for the day is “consistency.”

Sales success is a function of repeatable processes. Your goal is to help your gases and welding salespeople (and yourself) by putting together a regular set of activities that drive the behaviors that you want.

Improved performance generally comes from the following:

  • Clearly outlining results expectations.
  • Clearly outlining activity expectations.
  • Managing the activities that produce the right results.
  • Measuring the activities and results.
  • Providing feedback on the efforts.

All of these things require that you do something regularly. If you do these things only on an infrequent or irregular basis, you will get about the same results as if you and your partner use birth control irregularly.

Clear Results Expectations: What do you really want? A lot of sales managers and salespeople would answer this question with higher sales. But that’s not enough of an answer. Do you want higher sales to existing or to new customers? In what proportions? Do you want higher sales of specific products or services? Is it OK if margins or prices decline? (Probably not.) What are the goals for your team? What are your goals?

Clear Activity Expectations: What are the specific things that you want people to do? I am amazed that the vast majority of salespeople have no idea how many sales calls they are supposed to make in a week. Many have never been told when a sales day is expected to begin, when it is supposed to end, and when paperwork is supposed to be done. Have you communicated the activities that you want? If you are a salesperson, have you established criteria for whether your day is good or not?

Managed Activities: You manage activities and measure results. What are you doing to ensure that the activities outlined above are occurring? Do you have activities scheduled that force you to review whether the salespeople are doing what needs to be done?

Measured Activities and Results: On a consistent basis, you need to measure both the activities and the results that you want to accomplish. What kinds of reports do you get? Do they tell you what you need to know?

Finally, you need to focus on feedback. Most salespeople do not get the feedback they need. They either get left in the dark or get yelled at. This is not a good management behavior. You need to have a regular system for providing feedback on activities and results, and you need to use these regular occurrences to reinforce what you want.

If you do these things, you will not only get more of what you want, but you will help your sales team get more of what you want…if what you want is improved sales.

Many salespeople have never been told when a sales day is expected to begin, when it is supposed to end, and when paperwork is supposed to be done.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
44a_ellersjoe Meet the Consultant
GAWDA Sales Consultant Joe Ellers is director of Associate Consultants in Clemson, South Carolina. Members can reach him at (864) 654-3997 and at joe.ellers@joeellers.com.