The transition from selling to managing — страница 4

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marginal sales rep and how much time he can properly spend with a new salesperson as against an older one. In making appraisals, manager continually uses sales figures and other statistical data. Let’s list some of these other measures for appraisal. Sales reps must be willing to learn. They must be anxious to improve themselves and receptive to instruction. Sales reps should be happy in their job. They should be enthusiastic, excited, and interested in each day’s operations, well motivated, and able to keep their long-range objectives clearly in view. Sales reps should possess and use the ability to plan. They should employ their time effectively; schedule the work for each day, week, and month; plan each interview carefully. Sales reps should be able to conduct an effective

sales interview. They should know to carry through effectively any part of sales interview, including the interview with a receptionist. Among the more important matters to be appraised in determining whether a sales rep is really moving ahead are the following: Presence of strong motivation and a sound attitude toward the job and the future A record of steadily increasing sales volume and steadily increasing earnings Definite improvement in those areas in which the manager has felt coaching was required Definite progress in the development of an increasing number of accounts with good potential The continual development of new accounts Willingness to assume responsibility, to handle tough situations in the territory without supervision, and to try new methods and ideas suggested

by the boss Ability to manage his or her personal life successfully Managers appraise and coach sales reps each time they are in the field with them. Only thirty minutes may be involved, but the meeting does bring the sales rep and the manager closer together. When skillfully conducted, it presents the manager to the sales rep as a helper. Statistical material is reviewed, and the intangible qualities that make for success are discussed. The manager and the sales rep reach mutual agreement as to what must be done to achieve maximum results. The conclusions reached in such a discussion are sometimes reduced to writing by the manager, and a copy is sent both to the sales rep and to the manager’s supervisor. For the accurate appraisal of a sales rep, there is no substitute for

direct field observation. The key word is action. It is this insistence upon action following a field contact or review or informal appraisal that gives continuity to the entire supervisory and development process going on between the field sales manager and the sales rep. The formal appraisal In contrast to informal appraisal, the formal appraisal covers a longer period – six months to a year – and requires the use of specially prepared forms. The latter can be quite formidable – to the point where they often confuse the field sales manager, who is more accustomed to selling and field work than to the intricacies of complex paperwork. Unfortunately, headquarters sometimes becomes so intent upon forms and their use that the real purpose of the appraisal is all but

forgotten. The field sales manager must realize that the only value of a form lies in the information entered on it. Preparation for the formal appraisal is a continuing task. Sales manager has a folder for each sales rep and throughout the year he files in it all specific evidence that will substantiate his appraisal of a sales rep’s performance. Preparation also involves recognition of the fact that manager cannot and must not appraise a salesperson he does not know reasonably well. People who are new in the organization or whom manager has rarely seen cannot be accurately appraised. Sales manager should therefore plan and carry through enough field contacts with his sales reps that he will know them well enough to appraise them accurately. Preparation for appraisal, finally,

involves a true conception of the purpose of the appraisal. There are two major elements subject to appraisal – performance and personal qualifications. Performance should be appraised first. The sales rep’s personal qualifications should be appraised only when they affect performance. Finally, sales manager should keep in mind that this is an evaluation of performance, not of personality – except to the extent that it affects performance – and that the main purpose of the appraisal is to help the sales rep improve on performance. The control function Field sales manager is in control of his job when: As a result of sound appraisal (formal and informal) and progress toward agreed-upon objectives, he knows how to improve performance. 2. Manager applies this knowledge to