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Implementing changes in the sales department. Part 4/12. Stage II – Understanding the characteristics of employees.

This element of implementing changes cannot be treated as closed in time. Throughout the cooperation period, the manager gets to know his employees during various professional and sometimes private situations. Getting to know employees, their expectations and preferences requires building appropriate relationships. To gain employees’ openness is to gain and maintain their trust. This can be achieved by the manager’s openness to various opinions and by enabling employees to express their tasks during conversations. As a result, an atmosphere of trust will be built and employees will openly inform about their problems and errors, allowing them to be quickly repaired and corrected.

An opportunity to understand employees’ attitudes are:

  • Training (desire for further development, position in the group, commitment)
  • Joint business trips (observation of field work, opportunity to learn about the private situation during informal conversations),
  • Talks with employees and heads of other departments about the quality of cooperation between organizational units and individual persons,
  • Individual meetings.

Each manager should get to know his employees in a different way than in professional situations. Often, living outside work affects decisions taken in professional life. Lack of knowledge of the private sphere of employees may in some cases lead to non-objective assessments of their work. On the other hand, care should be taken that excessive intimacy and empathy do not cause decision-making paralysis of the manager in difficult professional situations.

Implementing changes in the sales department. Part 3/12. Stage I – Team communication system.

The first stage of implemented changes should be the implementation of an effective communication system with all team members. This is a fundamental task from the point of view of implementing further changes. The diagnosis of the current communication system may indicate the following dysfunctions:

  • No regular meetings with the management of the sales department, and no wider meetings with all employees in the department,
  • Lack of any system of reporting commercial activities to the supervisor except financial data automatically generated by the system,
  • Lack of use of available system tools to record and analyze commercial activities,
  • Lack of standard internal electronic correspondence.

In connection with the identified dysfunctions that prevent efficient management of the team, the manager should establish a system of meetings and briefings with sales department employees in order to:

  • Transmission and consultation of decisions,
  • Receiving feedback on problems,
  • Informing employees about long-term goals and tasks,
  • Informing employees about results and progress in strategic areas.
Implementing changes in the sales department. Part 2/12. Premises for managerial decisions.

When making managerial decisions, it should be noted that sales teams usually have large but unstructured market knowledge. Additionally, individual employees present a different attitude (openness) to proposed changes. Therefore, you should take the following approach related to the personnel functions in the sales department:

  • First, catalog the tasks performed by employees,
  • Then diagnose the intensity of these tasks and distribution to individual team members,
  • Perform a full mapping of the customer service process to be able to identify step by step its positive elements building a stream of value for the customer, and those points that for the final recipient did not constitute any added value,
  • Present and discuss with the whole team the conclusions of this analysis and ask for an opinion on the proposed directions of change,
  • Start implementing changes and monitor implementation progress,
  • Engage directly in processes.

In this process, the manager should assume the position of an active participant in changes, involving all interested employees in order to obtain the widest possible perspective and dynamics of reorganization.

In the context of the process of implementing changes, the manager should be guided by his own concept, which will be based on a checklist that allows analyzing the organization in terms of the value stream for clients. This may be due to the following premises:

  • The team has not previously dealt with modern management systems,
  • Employees are apprehensive, mainly afraid of job losses,
  • The pay scale is below market standards,
  • Recruitment of new team members is time consuming and requires significant expenditure (team verification will be unavoidable anyway),
  • It is necessary to motivate employees to learn new things and perform more demanding tasks.

It should be remembered that a manager cannot suddenly or drastically make a slowdown or even stop the sales and customer service processes. Therefore, the manager should adopt the concept of implementing changes based on intense motivation factors that will lead to increased involvement in work and building employee openness to new challenges. The basis for all decisions made will be team cooperation as a basic element of work culture in the entire sales department and the company.