Many distribution companies have an informal plan to target key customers or develop growth opportunities. But too often a focus on the monthly numbers leads to inefficient sales behavior contrary to management's plan. Creating a formal plan that defines the right priorities shifts the attention from the monthly numbers to the efforts that lead to the numbers, says John F. Monoky in Align Sales Force with Strategy.
Deliver Distribution News to Your Inbox
Sign up below to receive MDM Update, your free weekly distribution news update by email.
Create – and document – a plan that establishes clear priorities in terms of customers and products, strategy for differentiating among different types of customers, and the role and functions to be performed by the sales force. Make sure your sales force has the right skills and knowledge to implement the plan.
And make sure that every person on your sales team understands the priorities and the strategy behind it.
Without a formal strategy, sales people have to rely on their own perceptions of what management wants when they're in the field, and it doesn't always align with what management really wants. Simply telling them what you want can go a long way in making sure you're all working toward the same goals.