The Gift of Sales Management!
What is the greatest gift of high performing insurance agencies? The Gift of Sales Management!
Sales Management represents the planning, development, execution and achievement of business development goals using available resources effectively and efficiently.
The Gift of Sales Management is both a science and an art.
Lets break down the above statement:
The Science of Sales Management: The design and implementation of a step-by-step operational process, a system, is the science which incorporates each stage of the sales cycle. The scientific approach to sales includes a rigorous application of process, tools and strategies bundled into a system which is understood and whole heartedly embraced by the entire organization.
The Art of Sales management: The soft skills of team members including relationship building, presentation techniques, active listening as well as guiding and influencing decisions builds the art of sales management. While the science of sales management serves as the foundation of the sales platform, the art represents the creative flair and natural talents to which individuals apply the process and utilize the tools to achieve success. By itself, the science is inefficient to achieve sales effectiveness.
The art of sales management – a person’s competence, knowledge and motivation supported by the process – is the ultimate differentiator.
The combination of the science and art of sales management instills pride in an organization. It is this sense of pride that fuels each employee’s passion for excellence and dedication to enhancing the customer experience.
In the formative years of an agency, the principals are required to be rainmakers. As the business evolves, the owners impart their business development skills and passion for sales to others in the agency to sustain growth. It is here where many organizations face a significant challenge. As the 500 B.C. Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, wrote in The Art of War, “Your strengths will eventually become a weakness”.
Let’s examine the competencies of the Producer/Principal as compared to the Sales Manager:
- Develops accounts
- Focuses on productivity
- Loves independence
- Popular with staff
- Receives instant gratification
- Develops people
- Focus on building a team
- Kiss independence goodbye
- Respected by staff
- Patience. Long term gratification
The role reversal for many agency leaders represents a huge hurdle. Yet, in order to create a scalable business model – one that is not dependent upon a single person or two to bring in the lion’s share of the business – a company wide sales culture must evolve. A true sales culture forms when every member of an organization feels a part of, and is connected to, the sales process.
A productive corporate culture represents the perfect blend of the science and art of sales management as measured by the attitude employees have about the environment in which they work. The leaders of high performance organic growth agencies empower staff to understand the link between sales management and business outcomes including customer loyalty, referrals, cross sell opportunities, growth, retention and profitability. They have also discovered that by engaging, mobilizing and harnessing the power of the entire organization, they can effectively and predictably boost revenue, profit and agency value. These Best Practice firms integrate sales management into all aspects of the organization with the goal of creating a robust, resource rich experience for the prospective client.
In our next post, we will explain five interconnected elements that every agency should embrace to receive the Gift of Sales Management!