Are you protecting your sales team from failure or disappointment so they won't get discouraged…
In this article, I want to help you leverage the skill of solving core issues to make your sales management efforts more efficient and a motivator for your team. I don’t want you to be the person everyone goes to have problems fixed, but I do want you to have a big Superman “S” on your chest. “S” for solving core issues.
Be Effective Not Busy
In our Part-time Sales Management System, we focus on solving core issues because we want the time we invest as a sales leader and sales manager to be more effective and less busy. Just being busy isn’t doing a job, however, being effective is where you can increase sales. In addition, we also want the sales people to be more effective, not just busy.
Solving Core Issues
Firstly, you need to be committed and focused on letting your team know that you are going to be solving core issues. Whenever there’s a problem, of course it needs to be solved. If there’s a customer upset, you’re going to take care of that customer and make them feel better. That’s fixing the problem. Then you need to take a step back. Ask yourself, “How did this happen?” If it’s a one-time gig, move on. But if you’re noticing that it’s a situation that is happening more consistently or more than you’d like, there’s a system problem, or a core issue.
Secondly, you want to be willing to look at your processes and systems and the ones that were successful in the past, and see if there are any new problems.
What Size is Your Pan?
You’ve probably heard the story about the family who cuts the ends of the Christmas ham off. The daughter goes to the mom at Christmastime and watches mom cut the ends of the ham off and she says, “Mom, why do you cut the ends of the ham off before we cook it?” And Mom says, “I’m not sure. Grandma always did it that way. So that’s what I do.”
Grandma was in the other room, they brought her in. They asked, “Grandma, why do we cut the ends of the ham off? What’s the specialness in that?” Grandma said, “Nothing. I just had a small pan. I needed to cut the ends off the ham because of the pan I used.”
Your company has worked well with a smaller pan. For instance, you had to do things a certain way with that small pan. Maybe you have a bigger pan now. You need to be willing to explore and say, “Do we have a bigger pan? How are we approaching this?”
How do you identify where those process changes should be? You reverse engineer. You look from the beginning. For instance, you can ask yourselves, “What did we do? What was the problem?” The customers product was late. “What happened? Who delivered it?” Work your way backwards on the process. You might have to line out your whole process and then start identifying where that problem started. Where’s that pinch point? Solve that core issue and that may eliminate poor deliveries and upset customers.
Review Your Processes
Get committed to solving issues. Be willing to review the processes that used to be successful and that might not be working anymore. They might be the problem. Where you do this reverse engineering is in your sales team meetings. Furthermore once you start doing this, you will have your sales people coming in and rather than complaining and dog-piling on problems, you’ll start talking about business. You’ll start teaching them how to reverse engineer and how to find out where that core issue is. If it’s between another department, then that’s your job to solve. Tell your team, ‘Hey, no problem. I’ve got what the core issue is. I’m going to communicate with the other departments and we will solve it.” You report back on your progress and eventually it’s solved and everybody’s happy.
In conclusion, if you and your sales team focus on solving core issues then you’ll be much more effective, your team will appreciate it, and sales will increase!
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