Christmas is a challenging time for many businesses, whether you sell Christmas products or not. Read on to find out how to avoid the six sins that some sales managers make at this time of year.
Sin 1 – Being Too Busy. At this time of year, it’s too easy to allow pressure from elsewhere to stop you from helping your team. They will start to feel adrift and unloved. Your customers will start to notice and could feel unloved too. This means that they could take their business elsewhere.
What can you do? Never cancel internal meetings, because your sales people need your time and support. Listen to what they have to say. If you can’t meet with them face to face, then call them, as a call is better than email. Always honour dates you have agreed with your customers.
Sin 2 – Micro-Management. If you are very hands on with your sales people, obsessed with their numbers and watching their every move, you are committing the sin of micro-managing.
You can avoid this by giving your sales people clear direction, meeting with them on a regular basis and giving them helpful feedback. You will also need to learn to use self-control!
Sin 3 – Doing it Yourself. Are you worried about your orders, calling your customers to check the details? If you do this, you will undermine your sales people, causing them to become disillusioned and demotivated. You’ll also confuse your customers!
The rules to follow to avoid this are agreeing your plans with your sales team, accompanying them on occasional sales calls, to see how they’re getting on and then managing them upwards.
Sin 4 – December Discounting. Don’t confuse value with price, assuming that your customers won’t pay what you want to charge. Don’t offer a discount unless someone asks for one, as you’ll set a precedent and lower the perceived value of what you sell.
Avoid December discounting by focusing on the benefits you provide and remind everyone that you’re worth it.
Sin 5 – Cancel the Sales Training. It’s a busy time of year and you need to save some money, so you cancel the training that your sales team was going to attend. Good idea?
No! This plan of action could be really demotivating just at the end of a busy year, when your sales people could be expecting a bonus. Stick to your training plans to build confidence and show your team how much you value them.
Sin 6 – Mushroom Mentality. Are you keeping your people in the dark, not telling them your plans for next year? Are you imposing budgets and targets on them, rather than discussing them?
Keep clear of the mushroom mentality by creating and sharing a compelling vision with your sales people. Ask for their input now and spend time, with them, planning what you’d all like to achieve next year.
No matter how busy or tired you are at this time of year, do whatever you can to avoid these six Christmas sins of sales managers. When you can avoid them, you’ll be able to build a much stronger, more motivated sales team, who will merrily carry you into a very prosperous New Year.
Because giving gifts always make people feel better, I have a wonderful Christmas present for you.
If you’d like a completely free 30 minute sales planning call with me, just call me on 07740 290 506 or click here to email me. If you’re feeling guilty about committing any of the sales sins, or you want to develop a strong sales strategy for 2016, I can help you. I’ll also tell you how to avoid the 7th sin that many sales managers commit at this time of year, so you can avoid that one too!
If you would like to improve your sales manager skills and toolkit, I would be delighted to talk.
Just email us at amanda@salesgrowthexpert and we will set up a free call to hear how about your business and sales challenges.
In the meantime I’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.