Extra Edition / Business Management

Applying Sales Management Best Practices

November 22, 2006
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Mark Roberts
The implementation of "best practices" helps HVAC contractors apply the business strategies and professional approach needed to attain sales, management, and operational excellence. Today's homeowners and building owners are more educated, highly sophisticated, and very demanding, which is why contractors need professional standards in place in their businesses to provide customer-driven, innovative solutions.

Sales management is one area that requires a comprehensive business strategy to help you run your company more efficiently and with improved profitability.

SALES SUPPORT

The most common mistake in setting sales objectives is lack of involvement on the part of the sales reps. They need to be included in the discussion to determine year-end projections as well as overall performance for the year. And they have to be monitored closely to maintain sales performance.

How will they end up with their previously established goals? Are they on target or are they way off track? Is their compensation in line with their capabilities?

How do you recognize over-achievers? Are they still motivated or are they wandering?

What do you do about under-achievers? How do you get them back into the sales arena?

Establishing a foundation for consistent sales accomplishment is very important. The best way known is to arm sales reps with a set of structured tools and prepare them to go out and meet their objectives with true professionalism. All sales reps need to be able to identify themselves with the company they represent. A structured selling system encourages enthusiasm, confidence, team spirit, and high productivity. It will also provide principal owners and sales managers with answers to the above questions.

In order to establish continuity of "best sales practices," you need a set of standards that includes the following:

  • Establishing goals and objectives

  • Managing and tracking sales activity

  • Prospecting

  • Contact management

  • Appointment preparation

  • First call strategy

  • Qualifying prospects

  • Authorization to survey

  • Survey preparation and safety

  • Estimating

  • Financial analysis strategy

  • Verification meetings

  • Proposal presentation and close

  • Booking new sales

  • Plan and review meetings

    All sales reps should be fully trained in your sales standards to assist them in accomplishing their primary goals. A selling system gives sales reps, and the companies they work for, the edge against the competition in their communities.

    In addition, field coaching is an ongoing process that is just as important for veteran sales reps as it is for new hires. Sales coaching helps keep sales personnel motivated and on track. And it also demonstrates your commitment to their continued success.

    Publication date: 11/27/2006

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