The face of any organization is the sales force. Companies spend a considerable amount of time and money on managing the sales force rather than on any other promotional activity. However, sales force is expensive and companies are looking forward to managing them in an efficient and effective manner. The management of sales force consists of following:
Compensating the Sales Force
A compensation plan should constantly stimulate the salesman to put in their best efforts, quantitatively and qualitatively, to achieve the desired and planned levels of sales. Compensation must be fair to the management and the salesmen. It should enthuse efficient salesmen and help remove inefficient ones. It should be simple, flexible, easy to administrate, economic and capable of achieving the personal selling objectives of the firm. Periodic review and vision of the compensation plan is essential.
Motivating the Sales Force
It is the crunch of sales force management. The mettle of sales manager always gets tested on the touch stone of their motivational skills- how well they are able to motivate salesmen under them. Motivation is an all encompassing concept; it is a product of all that a sales manager or an organization does in relation to sales person. Through a two fold motivational package consisting of financial and non financial factors, he entire hierarchy of needs of salesmen can be taken care of. Recognition, praise and creation of good social environment are the prime elements of the non financial package of the motivational tool. Sensible management is it is a motivational element. On the other hand when the sales task is set out in ague and ambiguous terms and salesmen are left in doubt as to what is expected of them, their motivation sags.
Motivation in the larger sense includes morale. Good morale leads to good motivation and good performance. In fact, morale and motivation go hand in hand in any field of sales situation. It is the responsibility of sales management to build up the morale of the sales force and maintains it at a high level.
It is the neglected, but potentially the most rewarding area of sales management. Effective sales supervision will increase sales, profit, improve the morale, motivation of salesmen and reduce their wasteful turnovers. The extend and nature of sales supervision may vary form firm to firm depending on the complexity of the sales organization. Salaried salesmen have to be supervised more than those who work on commission. Important aspects that require close supervision include efficiency in sales calls, efficiency in routing and time management, communication skills and interpersonal skills.
Performance Appraisal of Sales Force
The foundation of any performance appraisal system is the believe that human beings have immense capacity for growth, performance and development, under right direction and climate for performance, they will respond creatively and positively. This applies equally to performance appraisal of salesmen.
Training of Sales Force
The essence of all training is the belief the performance of people can be improved through training. The same basic approach should govern sales training as well. It should rest on the conviction that every salesman can be improved through careful design training. The form has a variety of choices of the types of sales training which depends on the requirement of the firm in the given situation and the comparative cost involved. On-the-Job training is a concrete and durable way of developing salesmen, and occasional dose of Off-the-Job Training assists in improving their effectiveness.