“Take It To The Street” For Better Results
- Russ tells me that he would like to solicit feedback from his direct sales team regarding a new strategy, but he prefers to keep them focused on hitting their quotas.
In another organization, Brad believes that the independent reps and distributors who report to him just want to sell. But even if they wanted to offer suggestions, there is no established forum available for them to do so; instead, he just contacts his preferred reps when he wants feedback.
After some discussion, both agree that more regular dialogue with their folks who are closest to the customers would improve the probability of success for their endeavors.
For Russ, we identified his 5 highest performing sales personnel, and invited them to join his 3 regional managers in a roundtable discussion of strategy every six months. Their discussions focus on how a strategy can generate quantifiable benefits for customers as well as for their company. After each meeting, the participants “test drive” their concepts past 2 or 3 of their key customers and report back. Russ credits this process for growing sales and improving their bottom line by 12% last year.
Brad established a council of 8 representatives who are chosen by all of the reps based on criteria specified by Brad. The council meets twice each year to discuss what is working and what is not, plus new strategies, tactics and product concepts. Each council member collects feedback from their assigned group of reps, plus a few customers, and advises Brad. Sales productivity by the reps has increased 18% since April of 2012.
Take your ideas “to the street” before you implement them and your results will be better.
How do you ensure that the feedback you receive from Sales will drive improved results?