It is necessary to assess if a sales person has the key competencies to identify his/her sales potential
Today “command and control” model is replaced by the “lead and coach model” - Y. V. Lakshminarayan Pandit, MD, SHL (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Q. How would you define the sales teams in these industries?All these industries are highly competitive with several large multinational and Indian companies competing for market share. Therefore, companies need highly effective sales people both for selling directly to the consumers, as in the case of insurance and banking companies, or to the trade, as in the case of FMCG and telecom companies.
In addition to selling, a strong and capable sales team is extremely important for building the company’s reputation and brand image in the market place.
Extensive research carried out among highly successful sales people has shown the following as key characteristics of an effective and high-performing sales teams - confidence, drive, resilience, adaptability, listening and embracing change. Successful sales people are high on most, if not all of these competencies.
Q. What are the best practices in identifying sales potential?
Several factors need to be taken together to assess if an individual has sales potential. The first factor is consistent high performance which indicates a certain level of drive and resilience. However, this is not an indicator of future potential. Other factors such as adaptability, ability to change and response to change are also important. It is necessary to assess if a sales person has these key competencies to identify one’s sales potential. Leading organizations with successful sales teams are relying on the use of internal assessments as well as objective assessment tools through external consultants to identify the right sales potential.
Q. What are the trends in sales force management?
One major trend is that the command and control model of sales management is being replaced by the lead and coach model. In fact the words ‘sales force’, which perhaps originated from the earlier model of sales management, needs to be replaced with ‘sales team’.
Effective sales management includes the following key characteristics:
• Providing a clear direction
• Setting appropriate standards of behavior
• Delegating work appropriately and fairly
• Motivating and empowering members of the team
• Providing development opportunities and coaching
Another trend is the increasing importance of sales management role in planning and executing. It is no longer adequate if sales management develops strategies and leaves its execution to the sales teams. Sales managers have to develop detailed plans, set well-defined objectives and milestones, organize resources and monitor progress - in other words, work closely with the sales people on the ground in developing and executing strategies. This is becoming extremely important in competitive industries like telecom, BFSI and FMCG.