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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.

Implementing changes in the sales department. Part 1/12. Characteristics of the problem.

This article begins a series of 12 parts about implementing organizational changes in the sales department. Today, we all have a little more time for conceptual and analytical work. May we come to practice as soon as possible. Let’s prepare for a great dynamic of work after the crisis.

The main task of the sales manager who reorganizes the sales department is to increase work efficiency. Therefore, the goal is to increase the sales volumes of products offered by the company, and increase revenues while maintaining adequate profitability. Realization of the goal requires multi-faceted action covering all areas of the company’s operations. However, focusing on direct contact with current and potential customers, the foundation is to build an effective sales team – motivated to the effort of broad expansion on the domestic and international market.

Initial managerial analysis can reveal many problem areas that negatively affect work results, and cause numerous dysfunctions in collaboration within the team. Here is an example list of problems:

  • Lack of clear division of competences between employees,
  • Overloading tasks of some employees and wasting time by others,
  • Significant discrepancies in remuneration for the same positions in no way justified by skills or the scope of tasks,
  • No delegation of responsibility for carrying out tasks,
  • Lack of reporting system and feedback from managers,
  • Taking over tasks from other organizational units that should not be located in sales department tasks,
  • Lack of preparation for direct work with clients resulting from lack of practice and concerns about their skills,
  • No use of appropriate IT tools for sales support.

As a result, the sales department is characterized by many administrative functions, performing in fact a passive “Back Office” function in relation to customers. The sales model of such an organized sales department is based on old habits, and the poor organization of work and the lack of a system of incentives for employees do not allow for more ambitious sales results. Activities targeted at clients are characterized by stagnation and a lack of willingness, but also a lack of competence and beliefs to change the work model.

I will publish the next part next week. Subscribe to this blog to receive a notification.

Business closure analysis

One of the key areas of enterprise risk management is conducting business closure analysis (shut down analysis). Most managers don’t want to talk about it. Howeever, in some industries there are external risks (unrelated to the company’s operations) that may necessitate a sudden stop of business.

In this case, it is necessary to conduct a closure analysis to obtain information about the consequences of such action. So this is the reverse of a development business plan. In this case, a business plan is created in the event of termination.

Because closure analysis is a black vision of the company’s future, managers are reluctant to perform such analyzes. However, such analyzes are recommended for enterprises operating on an unstable legal and economic market, as well as on a market which is subject to dynamic change in purchasing trends. In the latter case, this may apply not only to the entire enterprise but to its individual business lines. In today’s economy, many enterprises can be mentioned, which for various reasons closed the production and sale of specific product groups. This certainly resulted in a number of financial consequences that the closure analysis can be used to predict and estimate.

The closure analysis should include the following:

  1. Analysis of the company’s economic environment.
  2. Description of the legal environment.
  3. Factors affecting purchasing trends.
  4. Risks that will arise from the need to close the business.
  5. Determining the minimum business profitability ratios.
  6. Determining the procedures to be followed in the event of a business being closed.
  7. Analysis of the financial consequences of closing the business.
  8. Analysis of the legal consequences of closure.
  9. List of indicators for monitoring the company’s situation in terms of the risk of closure.

Czy fajne szkolenia są potrzebne?

Inspiracją do tego artykułu były wypowiedzi i komentarze trenerów biznesu, które można przeczytać na różnych portalach publikujących profesjonalne treści związane z działalnością przedsiębiorstw. Zauważyłem pewną tendencję, że większość tych opinii opisuje jak powinny wyglądać szkolenia wysokiej jakości (fajne). Oczywiście, w domyśle, osoba publikująca swoją opinię jest jedynym trenerem, który prowadzi szkolenia tej jakości. Powiem szczerze, że ja też miałem taką manierę myślenia o sobie jako doradcy czy trenerze – jako jedynym zbawcy osób błądzących w ciemności. Przecież moja wiedza, umiejętności i sposób prezentacji przy użyciu niezwykle ekspresyjnych narzędzi komunikacji i treningu są najlepsze. Czyli byłe podporządkowany najpowszechniejszej dewizie dobrego szkolenia – ma być fajne, bo zadowoleni uczestnicy to szansa na kolejne zlecenia. W efekcie takiego nurtu mamy rynek szkoleniowy zdegenerowany przez fajne szkolenia dla pracowników i tym samym kompletnie nieprzydatne z punktu widzenia menedżerów i właścicieli firm.

W konsekwencji takiego stanu rzeczy zmieniłem podejście do działalności szkoleniowej i doradczej. Po pierwsze skupiam się na przekazywaniu tego na czym się znam a drugoplanowo traktuję ekspresję szkoleniową. Po drugie, oferty, które przedstawiam są odpowiednie do mojej wyceny wartości wiedzy, którą przekazuję, a nie oczekiwań finansowych klienta. Jeżeli tak samo ocenimy ten kapitał to wówczas możemy z powodzeniem współpracować. I wreszcie najważniejsze. Nie interesuje mnie praca z grupami szkoleniowymi, które zostały „zesłane” na fajne szkolenie. Jeżeli jakiś uczestnik nudzi się na szkoleniu to nie zabiegam o jego względy opowiadając barwne anegdoty, czy angażując w wyszukane formy warsztatowe. Jeżeli ktoś nie chce skorzystać z mojej wiedzy i doświadczenia, to jest to jego wybór, ale na pewno nie mój obowiązek wpajania ich na siłę.

Zachęcam menedżerów, pracodawców, właścicieli firm do takiego podejścia do szkoleń. Kupujcie szkolenia, które są wam potrzebne, praktyczne i motywujące. Ale wysyłajcie na nie ludzi, którzy chcą się rozwijać, wymieniać doświadczenia i nie są malkontentami, którzy mają być pobudzeni do działania przez trenera magika. To ostatnie to zadanie menedżera, dla którego szkolenie jest jednym z narzędzi wspierającym zarządzanie, a nie jedynym panaceum na brak odpowiedniej współpracy zespołowej i zaangażowania.   

Mobilność polskich pracowników w europie – seminarium

Będę miał przyjemność wziąć aktywny udział w seminarium pt. Mobilność polskich pracowników w Europie, które odbędzie się w dniu 05.10.2019 w Gdyni. Zmieniające się otoczenie polityczne, prawne oraz ekonomiczne w Europie z całą pewnością dostarcza wielu pytań o przyszłość rynku pracy na Starym Kontynencie.

Poniżej program seminarium. Ja będę miał przyjemność być jednym z panelistów.