Friday, September 10, 2010

Does Your Organization Have a Sales Manager?


The Situation:
Our organization has never had a "solely dedicated" sales manager since its inception in 1983. We have been fortunate that we have only had three (very good by the way!) resident managers in that time...John Vogt 1983-1986, Chuck Noble 1986-2007, Bob Sattler 2007-Present. All have been "player coaches" and supplemented their management income with brokerage commissions and bonuses. The three managers varied greatly in skill sets and all three had(ve) their strengths. Some were top producers as brokers. Others were not. Some really enjoyed training, team building, goal setting, "cheer leading", contests, consensus building, etc...typical among the sales manager function. Some have avoided the sales manager function and have(d) the attitude that we are all big boys and know what is necessary to grow our businesses...after all we are all independent contractors and benefit from what we "kill". I believe we miss an important opportunity if we don't stress the sales manager function...the recruitment, training, and ongoing skill building of our associates and young shareholders.


The Idea:
Create the position of sales manager within the organization.


The Way it Would Work:
The position would be created and would be compensated by a monthly reduction in desk cost expense. This expense (subsidy) would be shared equally by all shareholders. The sales manager's responsibilities would include hosting weekly sales meetings for all associates and any shareholders that wanted to attend. The meetings would be held at 7:30 on Monday mornings and would be mandatory for associates and voluntary for shareholders. The sales manager would design a curriculum for the meetings and the meetings would be structured, topical, and informative. The goal of the meetings would be threefold...accountability, training, and team building. Additionally the sales manager would be responsible for hosting once a month meetings for industry information...IE: Social Media Marketing, Review of Financial Statements, Legal Issues, etc. The sales manager would also spearhead the social media marketing effort for the office.The sales manager could also be responsible for the monthly industrial and office meetings as well although we may discover that these meetings are unnecessary given the frequency of the weekly meetings. The position would commence on October 1, 2010 and would conclude in September 30, 2011. The shareholders would only commit to a one year position and a cost (subsidy) of $18,000. At the end of the trial, we can decide to continue or discontinue based upon results. Since associate profit or loss is split equally by all shareholders, we all benefit by bolstering the associate profit pool. My sense is that the program will pay for itself in the first year and realistically could create a larger profit for all of the shareholders.


The Benefits:
Training
Increased Profit
Accountability


Next Step:
I would recommend that our organization consider creating this position.