Everyone in the company is a salesman! This article is from my first book: “From Red to Black“ and is a true story about a real company.
The service department was doing great – sales were up and profits were healthy. The department was now up to thirty technicians. In four months, monthly sales were up over 50%. When the controller closed the monthly financial statements, and he showed me the results of the service department. I had my assistant purchase a gift card for dinner at a steakhouse for my new service manager, his wife, and family. It was a small reward, but I wanted him to know that I knew and appreciated his successful efforts.
The Service Manager was kicking butt in his department, but I needed to keep him challenged. He raised the bar for his team, but I knew that he could do more. Our company now had service thirty people out in the field visiting seventy-five of our customers daily. They were all doing service repairs and installations, but not selling anything. The reason they were not selling was that we did not ask them to promote sales.
Everyone in the Company is a Salesman!
I called a meeting with my sales and service managers. I wanted to talk about training our service technicians to generate sales leads when they were at clients’ offices. The Sales Manager resisted the idea because I believe he was greedy. He did not want to take any sales away from his sales team. Unfortunately, he did not get it that this plan was going to add sales to his sales team, not take them away. The Service Manager loved the idea because he knew that his team would earn commissions on the sales. He was a “Team Player.” He took care of his staff which always made me feel right about him. His employees loved him which meant he had a minimal turnover in his department.
Every employee from the receptionist to the management team should be a salesperson for the company.
Everyone in the company is a Salesman! The three of us worked out a commission plan where the salesman would not get their commission cut if a service technician brought in the sales lead. Both managers, sales and service, wrote up the commission plan for the salesman and service technicians, then gave it to me to review. They created a “Sales Lead” form for the service technicians to complete with all the applicable information about the customer. The technicians then gave the document to their manager who logged the information on the sales lead report, then passed the report to the sales manager.
My service manager also gave a copy of the form to the accounting department. The Controller recorded the lead on the sales system to ensure that the service technician earned a commission if the lead turned into a sale. The service technician received a commission on the initial sale if the lead came from an existing customer. If the sales lead was for a new client, the service technician was paid a commission on every sale for the first year for that customer.
The new plan’s goal was to grow sales by making everyone in the company a salesman!
The service manager developed a series of training classes held every other Saturday morning to teach the service guys how to get leads without creating any “bad will” with the company’s customers. We paid everyone in the service department attending the training classes for their time.
After the two meetings, the sales and service managers and I met and made the appropriate revisions to the plan addressing the issues. We also noted on the policy that “management reserved the right to change the plan at any time without notice.” I have learned over the years that some employees learn how to “cheat” so they can earn a commission and the company loses money on the sale. When that happens, we pull out the policy immediately, make the appropriate revisions to fix the problem then redistribute the new policy to everyone affected.
The plan turned to be successful for everyone, the sales team, the service department, and the company.
The sales team started getting leads for sales that they would have never received without the service department. The service department was earning sales commissions that they had never received before. We had people in the service department that doubled their prior year’s salary because of the new commission policy. The average monthly sales doubled in the first 60 days of the new plan for the whole company. The program worked.
Everyone in the Company is a Salesman! The plan turned out to be a “win – win – win” situation. The sales and service departments benefited as did the company.
My name is Robert Curry, and I am an Author, Business Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Turnaround Specialist. Over the past 20 years, I have worked with more than 70 companies taking their businesses from Loses to Profits.
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I have recently published two books about turnarounds: “From Red to Black – A Business Turnaround” and “The Turnaround.” Both books are true stories about turnarounds of real companies that I have turned around during my career. In both books, I have shared all my Profit Improvement Recommendations (“PIR’s”). PIR’s helped to grow sales, reduce expenses, improve cash flow, and most importantly, strengthen the management teams.
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