Creating the Sales Force

Evidently, the first step in developing an effective sales force is the recruiting of first class salesmen. Training, motivation, development and other aspects of sales management will, no doubt help the process, but basically, the men recruited must be good.

Characteristics of the Good Sales Compensation Plan:

A good sales compensation plan must

1. Direct salesmen’s activities towards company objectives.
2. Correlate efforts, results and rewards of salesmen,
3. Help attract and keep competent salesmen.
4. Stimulate the salesmen’s activities
5. Enthuse efficient salesmen and help remove the inefficient ones.
6. Preferably two components of income: An assured income and additional reward for superior performance.
7. Be fair and just to the firm and to the salesmen.
8. Reflect the current needs of the firm (a plan that was sound yesterday may not be sound today).
9. Be flexible and also stable.
10. Be simple and easy to administer.
11. Be economic and competitive.

Proper Recruitment is the ABC of Good sales Management:

The importance of selection of salesmen can never be over emphasized. Each member of the sales force must be selected with care. A vibrant sales organization cannot afford the luxury of careless selection of salesmen. It costs a lot to recruit and train salesmen. So, a high turnover of sales force has to be avoided. No firm can afford ‘passengers’ who do not contribute much to the sales, or ‘quarrelsome guys’ who often disrupt relations with customers, prospects and distributors. It is essential, therefore, to be careful in the recruitment of salesmen. The firm should clearly lay down the policies regarding selection of salesmen – the type of salesmen it wants, the qualifications they must have and whether they should be raw, or experienced hands etc.

The next task of the sales manager is to organize the resources in such a way that it helps him/her to achieve the sales objectives. One of the most important resource that he/she has is the sales people. Hence organizing them in such way that their maximum potential is used and also the brand’s objectives are achieved at the lowest cost is the prime goal of the sales manager. Some of the possible forms of organizing the sales force are describe below

Leading the sales force involves motivating them to achieve and even surpass their sales quotas. Motivation is intrinsic, i.e. it comes from within the person. Yet it is the task of the sales manager to motivate his/her sale team. This involves creating a climate in which everyone gives his/her best performance. While one aspect of this is creating territories with sufficient challenge, the other aspect is even the leadership style and the compensation package. Sales managers have to be people who are also task oriented. In the Blake and Mouton’s leadership grid, they have to be 9.9 meaning high on task and people orientation. They have to be team builders and team leaders. They have to be good listeners and exhibit empathy while demanding the performance.

Sales force compensation is an important tool to motivate the team. This compensation has two parts – one the monetary and the other non-monetary. It is important for us to understand that money by itself has little role in motivating people. But it’s the power of money, or what one can do with money that makes it a powerful tool in motivation. Money helps an individual acquire status in the society besides enabling him/her feed more secure. But beyond a point money ceases to have this value and that’s where other non-monetary incentives come in.