Sales Managers are Master Communicators

It is not just the role of sales (and marketing) to deliver the message of the company to the market, but also to be the eyes and ears of the company. No one in the organisation is better placed to understand the markets perception of the business, the product or service offerings and the quality of service delivered pre-, during and post-sale than the sales team.

The sales manager’s role in this communication process is to communicate the company’s vision, strategy and objectives to the sales team in an appropriate manner so the team’s and individual salesperson’s efforts are focussed on achieving the expected results. The sales manager must use his knowledge of the company, it’s objectives, his team’s capabilities and the market to craft and communicate appropriate plans and actions to guide his teams performance.

Likewise, the sales manager needs to translate the feedback received from the market via his sales team into appropriate messages to the various areas of the business to ensure they are focussed on delivering the value the market is demanding. Operations, production, R&D, marketing and other areas of the business need to be focussed on what the customers value and the most appropriate people to deliver this message are the sales team.

But here’s the thing – when you ask: “Are you a good communicator?”, most people think about whether or not they have their say. Most answer ‘yes’. But communication is a a two-way street – it only happens when your message is received and understood, and you listened to receive and understand the other person’s message in return. Miscommunication happens more than many of us acknowledge and it is expensive. It can result in mistakes being made, lost time, goodwill and trust.
Read more

The A-B-C of Selling

In the 1992 film, Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin put the ‘A-B-C of Selling’ into folklore, ‘Always Be Closing’.

In the movie, Blake (played by Baldwin), an aggressive ‘son of a bitch’ trouble-shooter from head office, is sent to an under-performing real estate office to motivate the sales team. His motivational approach was based on ‘fail and you’re fired’. This threat together with his ‘Always Be Closing’ approach pushed the team to questionable and unethical sales behaviour to avoid the chop.

This is how many salespeople are seen by those not familiar with ‘good selling’ and sadly, it is also an approach adopted by those in the business who don’t treat the role of sales as a career and are looking for the ‘fast-money’. The ‘Always Be Closing’ approach requires the salesperson to be unrelenting in their efforts to close the deal.

Fortunately those who are professional in their approach to sales understand what good selling is about and do not adopt this definition of the ‘A-B-C of Selling’. To be successful in sales, we need to be professional. We need to treat our customers with the respect they deserve and we expect. We need to develop a level of trust. To achieve these things we need to be good communicators.

So let’s redefine the ‘A-B-C of Selling’ to ‘Always Be Communicating’. Read more