Shield Financial Management is a large insurance company with a corporate office in New York and four regional offices. The company provides a variety of insurance products for businesses. A case study of Shield Financial Management reveals that the new Des Moines sales manager, Doug, has assigned leads to his sales team. The leads were generated via a lead generation program that had not been used for some time. In this process customers return postcards or send emails to indicate that they would like more information regarding a company’s product or service. Doug re-launched the lead generation program in response to poor results in sales for the first quarter. During a sales meeting Doug has discovered that several members of the team have not followed up on the leads assigned to them. To remedy this issue he has indicated that a standard plan will be developed for the sales team to follow.
Taking a Different Approach
By requesting more information, the prospects have basically given permission for a salesperson to contact them. Not following up on the leads can cause the prospect to lack confidence in the firm. If the firm fails to follow up on a lead how can they be relied upon to provide effective service? It is also important that leads be followed up in a timely manner. If too much time passes the prospect may lose interest in finding out more about the product.
Doug is not taking an effective leadership approach by developing a standard plan for his sales team. One of the responsibilities of a sales manager is to coach his or her sales team. Cron & DeCarlo (2009) suggest that coaching involves providing “one-on-one” feedback” (p. 14). Doug should first address the salespeople that failed to follow up on leads individually.
In meeting with each salesperson Doug could use the Five Why techniques (Clark, 2013). This is a counseling technique that can help determine if there is an underlying issue for the poor performance. Once the problem(s) has been identified, Doug and the salespeople can brainstorm to come up with a strategic plan that fits each salesperson’s individual personality and sales technique. Cooper (2013) states, “Sales leaders help their reps develop personalized sales plans and development objectives” (para. 7). As a leader he can help his sales team reach individual long term goals.
Doug and the sales team can develop a portfolio model to help improve communication between each other. Some of the sales team may need assistance in effectively managing their time. Doug can set aside time each week to help his salespeople plan prospecting calls. He then needs to establish a timeline for them to complete the task and follow it up by assessing the results. Employees should be provided regular feedback on performance.
Sales managers must practice self-awareness. Doug should assess his own performance particularly as he is a new manager. Why were the first quarter sales results disappointing? Has he...