One of the toughest parts of sales meetings is consistently having them.
A weekly meeting between each sales representative in your organization and the sales manager is essential to your bottom line. In many landscape companies, the general manager also serves as the sales manager.
The sales manager’s job includes:
- Making sure those selling your services are properly trained
- Checking performance
- Keeping sales on track
Meeting those goals is the beginning of the customer relationship and your success.
Developing your sales team is important. New sales reps don’t have to be an expert in the subject matter, but they do have to know how to communicate.
New sales reps should:
- Interview people within your company to understand the roles everyone plays
- Go to job sites so that they have visuals to back up their words
- Role play sales calls so they can build their skills through repetition
Sales people should be good at getting answers to customers’ questions. Also, remember that different skill sets are needed for each type of sale. Many people are under the belief that their sales members should be able to sell anything. But there is a progression of knowledge. Selling mowing or cleanup services is easily pictured. Selling a six-figure project with multiple phases is much more complex.
The sales meeting has several goals:
- Promotes consistency
- Drives sales
- Allocates internal resources
- Allows operational preparation, including any needed capital purchases
- Deals with backlogs
Besides the sales representative, others who may attend all or a portion of the sales meeting include your subject matter experts – account managers, estimators, project managers, designers – anyone who can shed light on the process in order to complete a sale.
A sales meeting generally is 30 minutes to an hour long, and the sales rep is the one who should be doing most of the talking. He or she should list the commitments that were made at the last meeting, and tell how they were met or how they fell short and why.
If you as a sales manager fail to enforce accountability, it sets up bad practices, so that is a primary purpose of the sales meeting. A salesperson needs to have the right amount of inputs to meet your output goals.
Our industry as a whole looks at sales as answering the phone. But we advocate taking a more proactive approach. You need to be looking for the right type of client and pruning away those who don’t fit. Sales reps should be making calls and popping into businesses to introduce themselves and ask how services are currently being provided. They need to understand a customer’s needs and wants, then take that information to make a sale.
Good sales meetings require a relationship of trust. You are there to make the sales representative a success. You’re not micromanaging; you’re using data to find out if some part of the sales process is failing.
You get the data through CRM software – the customer relationship management system. All of the information about a customer is in one place, and you can track contacts with them. That leads to better retention.
Sales meetings get everyone on the same wavelength so that you can serve your customers well, and see your business succeed.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Mark Borrasso. Borrasso is a Success Coach with LandOpt, a business that works with independently-owned landscape contractors across the U.S., helping them increase profitability, cash flow and revenue. To learn more, visit: www.landopt.com.