Your branch managers have just completed their annual sales and marketing plans for the upcoming year. They understand what their production objectives are, and what impact those objectives have on the company's earnings. By now, all sales unit staff members should clearly understand and agree to their individual production objectives. Weekly sales meetings and conference calls are scheduled for the entire year. Seems like everything is in perfect order for a fantastic new year, right?
At this point, all you have is a plan. What the sales manager must do is to ensure the plan is executed. This article, written as a diary of a sales manager, describes how the sales manager affects the branch at the local level through continuous inspection.
Examine the weekly sales cycle. This night, as on all others, each branch sales manager totals up the branch's production for the day before leaving, and reports this information between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
At 8:55 a.m., the regional sales manager calls selected managers to get them to immediately fax their daily action plans for review. Off the fax goes, and the branch sales manager has three minutes to finalize last- minute details to ensure the day is a sales success. Such details may include reinforcing with his staff the sales activities needed to maintain the goal level of production and ensure performance.
At 11:55 a.m. the sales manager conducts his mid-day inspection. This process takes several minutes. Production is added up to determine if half the day's production objective has been achieved in three hours.
A sales conference call is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Each manager will be called upon to describe his or her No. 1 sales success, and provide input on how to increase referrals 50% for the week. The sales manager also remembers he must report the name of any salesperson who achieved a "triple play," a "quad" product sale, and a consumer loan application. Winners get their name added to a drawing for a dinner for two at a choice restaurant.
At 8:45 a.m., the sales conference call has come to an end. Before the office opens at 9 a.m., meeting notes and sales expectations are faxed to each branch office reinforcing what was discussed and agreed upon. After briefing the branch supervisor about the conference call, the branch sales manager reminds his staff that today is Super "Two's Day." Those who sell a product package and take a consumer loan application between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. will receive regional recognition and a small reward.
Bright and early, the regional manager faxes a list of all the Super "Two's-day" winners along with a summary of the previous day's production. This summary indicates who is on target to achieve and exceed the week's production goals as reflected on the weekly sales plans.
But wait! Wednesday is a special day, too. It's the day each branch tries to double its average daily number of package sales. What sales office in the region will have the most package sales? There is a last- minute fine-tuning of the daily sales plan, then in come the customers.
At 10:45 a.m. the sales manager picks up a sales tip or two from the debriefing for increasing the sales efficiency ratio of each of his sales people, and decides to implement them before noon. This is important because each Thursday the minimum expectation for the day is 2.40 sales for each sales session, and the employees with the highest ratios receive regional recognition and incentive.
Extended hours. It's a great opportunity to achieve the week's production objectives before Saturday. A quick sales meeting at 8:30 a.m. lets the staff know exactly where the branch stands and what sales activities will put it over the top. If the sales manager is successful in clearly identifying the sale activities and behaviors necessary to achieve the week's goals, he and his staff can get a jump-start on Saturday to begin achieving the next week's goals.
Mr. Baroni is a regional sales manager at Roosevelt Bank, Chesterfield, Mo.