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Every new day for a sales representative is a challenging day, keeping workers productive. As a professional sales representative, there is need to be highly organized, focused, and adequately prepared for challenges (Elrod, p 33). It means that such a person must be a quick learner, flexible to change roles with short notice, and set to handle daily business challenges. There are however some strategies that will be helpful for a sales representative when planning the daily routines in a business.
First, a sales representative should plan the day. It is necessary to enter the office to arrive in the office early and organize tasks as well as appointments. There are tools which might be helpful like sticky notes for calendars or the sticky notes for phones available as an app. It is important that all tasks for the day are planned early so that they cannot be missed. The success of the business relies on a sales representative, and if they are not up to speed, they should try changing how to go about their daily plans.
The most significant part of the routine is a having growth and sales meeting daily. It is a must to have these meeting every day for improvement and learning of new sales skills after prospects and outreach activities are concluded within the day. The sales team should be well motivated through sharing of experience from last sales encounters (Elrod, p 32). For instance, telling them how to find the right consumers for the business products. Also, the information shared by the team members should be utilized by a sales representative based on the discoveries they made and how such might bring improvements to the sales team.
Additionally, it is important to align the sales actions with the marketing team. Successful sales representatives must always align all their findings and activities with the marketing department. Marketing and sales departments are almost similar in their roles towards every organization. This study aims to look at the work routines of sales representatives and look at the opportunities for improvement based on the sales, marketing, confronting and dealing with customer complaints, and order, receipt, and document control.
Business sales have proven to be the most difficult department to handle. The factors which affect sales include the emergence of new competitors and production of similar goods which leads to stiff competition in the market (Le, Meunier, & Tony, p 69). Whatever could have worked well in previous sales activities may not be significant in the future or the current situation. As a sales representative, there should be no time for trial and error but all the time should be for selling. To improve sales , there are some important fundamental steps which reduce the cost of sales and ensure that the business is steady.
The first step to improving sales performance is clarifying mission. Understanding the business niche is critical. For example, finding out which people needs the products of the company. Also, the amount of money they would be willing to pay must be noted. If these factors are not considered, then it is highly likely that sales operations might not be effective.
Another important step to improving performance on sales is breaking business mission into various goals. There should be well-laid activity goals like proposals per day which are short-term goals. Then set long-term goals for sales per month to track progress and should be monitored closely. After some time, the sales representative should increase their activities and evaluate the results since the results will focus attention and motivate action.
Selling specifically to meet consumer needs and maintaining their attention is important to sales improvement. There must be an assumption that consumers will only purchase what they require. Convincing them of that need is necessary and how to develop it. For instance, the sales representative should emphasize on the features of a service or product that reduces costs as well as solving customer problems (Le, Meunier, & Tony, p 58). Sometimes there should be creativity by repositioning the products always sold. For example, if a company deals exclusively on sales of linen clothes, there should be rebranding from sales due to looking and fell to sales sue to lasting and durability values. Also, the customer’s attention must be maintained. It will include activities like effective marketing, creating referrals, and other key ways to create a favorable attention. Following up activities will maintain customer’s loyalty.
Similarly, it is necessary to sell on purpose by asking, listening, and acting. As a sales representative, it is critical to understand one's role, the steps, and what has to be done. For instance, knowing the target and why, what information do they need, what questions should they be asked, how can an order be placed as well as the proposal. These steps are necessary since if one is missed, sales activities are greatly affected. Also, it is important to listen, ask, and act during sales which have led to most success in business sales. Questions asked must be planned, direct, creative, and relevant. Listening skills of a sales representative should be extremely developed to enable quick action and response to consumer needs and wants of the sale.
A sales representative must also be responsible as a leader and work on every basic. A sales representative should realize their roles as leaders. The company always looks upon them for directions and will offer support towards their efforts. To be responsible, it implies that one gives credit to the sales team for every exercise which goes right and takes the blame when it is wrong (Le, Meunier, & Tony, p 53). As a way, it will help in helping to work on the basics. To be successful means, there is a need for improvement. Therefore, a sales representative must make decisions to improve on weaknesses, set objectives to participate in activities which will improve sales.
Lastly, there is need to develop the right attitude and maximize on time. Attitude is controllable, and this helps in conquering of fears. A sales representative must change the beliefs that limit their success. Habits and thoughts are likely to control enthusiasm, commitment, resilience, persistence, confidence, and happiness. Therefore, there is need to maximize time to focus more on goals. All the sales activities should be tested for their urgency and importance. A schedule should be created for the testing level of productivity. This is because just that little one hour used productively is important than a week of less productivity.
Improving marketing for a business may be difficult particularly due to competitors. However, having the right plans and procedures will help improve marketing segment of any business significantly. Marketing main goal is to reach many consumers and sell the idea about one's products or services (Fitzpatrick, p 28). There are several ways to improve on marketing either intentionally or effectively.
All the strategies which are to be used in marketing should be properly documented. Sometimes it does not have to be complex. It should at least cover the marketing plans and goals. For instance, the strategy should cover marketing strategies like age, population, and demographic plans. The objectives which could be noted in the document include reaching and targeting more consumer markets and increasing sales.
Meeting the Marketing Team More Often
Improvement in marketing is always realized from the marketing team. Even if the marketing is always dedicated, it is necessary to always meet them for creating promotions. Suppose the team is met once or rarely, there is high chance that the marketing department is underperforming and has cracks which need to be fixed. In these meetings, there are important issues which must be discussed. There are always new ideas in the marketing segment daily. For instance, from the last meeting, one could look up an idea and discuss its effectiveness or ways in which it can be improved. Similarly, the team must always be prepared to expect ahead of the week or month several marketing tasks and responsibilities (Fitzpatrick, p 50). It is also necessary to talk about competitors. Like what has made them more favored in the market and work ways to improve on areas which might be causing them have competitive advantages. Besides, there should be brainstorming of general trends and topics which are likely to affect the business.
Outlining Specific Goals
Most people always aim to increase their revenues and use that to define their goals. However, goals are not directly tied to such outcomes. Therefore, the objectives which should be set include increasing brand awareness, leads, customer satisfaction and retention. It is also necessary to be aware that some of these marketing goals might be difficult to track. For example, increasing brand awareness may be a hard task. It will involve metric plans like using of adverts. For one to reach a broader market, they will have to use different media to create the awareness of their products which could be costly if it does not reach the targeted audience.
Outlining the Metrics to Be Tracked
Tracking the performance of the marketing team will improve overall marketing. It will help in determining whether the set goals are being achieved or how long it could take to achieve them. The appropriate marketing metrics would include difficult metrics like traffic and sales and leads. However, the main metrics which needs to be monitored include; sharing metrics which is how many times the contents of the business has been shared by customers like by referrals. One should also track consumption metrics which entails how many of the products are consumed by customers over a specific period (Fitzpatrick, p 45). Important is sales metrics which shows the actual marketing strategies which have led to the particular amount of sale. It is necessary to outline how to track these metrics and how to evaluate each metric towards improving marketing. Without proper ways of tacking the metrics, it would be difficult to realize any changes in marketing as to whether there has been a decline in activities or increase in activities.
Being More Buyer-Centric
The marketing strategies should always be more than just about the business. Invariably, people track the set metrics and outline business objectives. However, actual marketing needs to give more attention to the customer (McAllister, Jon, & Douglas, p 26). There should be an understanding of what clients and customers need and want to interact with the business and is a significant concern. To become more buyer-centric, there is need to recognize their wants. First, it is vital to understand the motives behind their buying behaviors. Also, knowing the kinds of contents they always prefer, where, and how they get them is key to getting closer to consumers. Also, some maybe visitors and their desire to purchase items should be harnessed to moving them into becoming loyal customers.
Identifying How to Distribute and Promote Products
Most businesses spend more time creating their products. However, having the products at hand is not the deal, the key thing is how to get the products to customers. At this point, a solid content distribution plan is required and must be used. However, most business does not see this need and struggle to realize it is important in improving marketing. Most business will prefer not to invest in distribution strategy and planning. Instead of creating products and hoping to sell them, a plan must be established. For example, it entails where, and when to go for a promotion and distribution of the newly created products to consumers.
Improving on Customer Complaint
Customer complaints are always a must however much a business might seem streamlined. These complaints must always be recognized and dealt with efficiently. Suppose the complaints are dismissed or ignored, the customers get a perception that their ideas are not valued by the business. Most business persons take complaint management as a frustrating and time-consuming process. However, this issue must always be addressed, and better ways developed to solve the complaints easily, efficiently, and quickly. The best steps to take to improve on customer complaints is first dealing with the unsatisfied customers and finding a solution by applying useful tips (Dealing with Customer Complaints, p 2).
Dealing with Unsatisfied customers
The first step to always use in these scenarios is to always listen to them. Complaints mean criticisms of ideas or services and products. It might prove to be challenging to remain calm while being criticized, but using emotional response may steer further or irritate such a customer. Therefore, one must give the consumer full attention by listening to the whole dilemma before responding. One can put themselves in the situation of a customer having a problem and would want someone to attend or listen to them. Attempting not interested as well as arguing back or such an attempt have always worsened these situations.
Also, a business person should not cut short a customer. In business, there are high chances that such a problem has been encountered on several occasions. Nevertheless, the customer will be experiencing this for their first time as it may be a unique experience to them. They should thus be treated importantly by listening to their complaint in full. Besides, they should be understood. Always, most business people try to defend themselves when they find out faults were not caused by them.
In addition, there is need to use initiative when responding to complaints. For instance, if the problem could be because of a particular staff member, it is best to remove them from the presence of customers. If they are absent, the customer’s emotion and tension can defuse and help them in reconsidering their anger and complaints (Dealing with Customer Complaints, p 4). However, the customer should never be sent from one desk to another. If a customer approaches any member, they should be of help only in cases where they might not be of important help. That is why it is necessary to let all complaints be handled from one point by a single staff member. Such a member should be experienced enough to solve all complaints and situations when they arise.
Finding Solution to Customer Complaints
Once a customer has launched their complaints, a sincere apology should be given to them immediately. It is important to understand there could be several factors which might have led to the concern and the one handling the situation might not be the fault. However, they should take full responsibility for the issue. Sometimes a simple apology is what a customer needed to be satisfied. Also, it is necessary to understand that customers never want to listen to excuses. Nevertheless, a little or brief explanation should be given on why they might not have realized the standard of product or service they expected. This should happen after listening to their concern and making an appropriate apology.
Sometimes, customers will need immediate compensation after their complaints. Initially, a customer might not be prepared for to make a complaint but might decide to raise the concern for the sake. In such cases, the customer should be asked to say their preferred outcome. It will make them feel valued and involved in the process.
Important Tips for Dealing with Customer Complaints
The main is to turn negative customer incident into a positive experience (Dealing with Customer Complaints, p 5). Therefore, they should be dealt with calmly even if a customer is quite confrontational and irrational. Arguing will make such a situation to worsen. In this way, the situation will have to be solved quickly as possible. A customer must feel that their concern is being attended to with top priority without being hurried.
Similarly, businesses must keep comprehensive customer complaints records from the first complaints to their final solutions. These records need to be assessed time after time to identify regular complaints and formulate important steps to improve the business processes. Lastly, all staff members should at least be trained to handle customer complaints. Sometimes, employees should be authorized to issue things like refunds and similar consolatory services. Having to wait for managers might take long and may worsen an already bad situation.
Order, Receipts, and Document Improvement
The initial step to improving order, receipt, and documents operations are keeping records immediately when they are received. Receipts could include important items such as invoices paid, customers' names, and the amounts paid. The receipt will be helpful when comparing such a customer's initial deposit when reviewing their accounts. The same way, when an order is made, it is important to note down all the key details of such an order. For instance, the type of order, customers details, number of products or services which are needed, and the Company’s’ approval to that order. In incidences where these activities are not documented properly, confusion always arises (McAllister, Jon, & Douglas, p 32). In the end, either the business or consumer will run at a loss. Such are the factors which might lead to customer complaints. Therefore, the records must be kept up to date and reflect the initial transaction which was carried out.
Also, there should be introduction and implementation of a lockbox system. If correctly used, the lockbox system will improve cash flows, and improve the control of all cash receipts. The lockbox system significance is that it regulates the number of employees having access to cash. It implies that an employee with no access to the lockbox will have to review the receipts periodically to ensure that payments were made appropriately. This system eliminates the risks associated with having an individual who handles customers’ accounts as well as cash. In many incidences, receipts have been altered and staff members involved in accounting frauds. This system will ensure that receipts, orders, and necessary documents are not altered to be in line with cash flow.
Equally, one individual should not be trusted with too many responsibilities. For instance, bank statements should always be sent to other responsible personnel rather than the individual involved in reconciling the bank accounts. This response will be able to review the statements as well as canceled checks to identify any unusual item. It could be done before presenting the bank statements to the reconciliation desk. Suppose the person to handle all these duties was at the reconciliation desk, they would use any great faults within the statements for personal benefits.
Orders, receipts, and documents are always kept old-fashioned ways. However, there should be the use of electronic payment systems. Electronic payment systems can serve various functions like using it in recurring payments such as utility, payroll, tax payments, and health benefits. The importance of using this system is to eliminate manual handling and storage of orders, receipts, processes, and documents (McAllister, Jon, & Douglas, p 34). Such will help in the reduction and elimination of risks of frauds resulting from stolen documents, checks, and receipts.
Finally, there should be the incorporation of stamp print. All the receipts, documents, and checks which are submitted for signature and approval should always be followed by supporting invoices. The documents should be handled by a responsible person or party that ensures that they reflect last approval for payments to prevent reusing invoices. A stamp print which includes the date of payment, check or receipt number, account charged, receipt of services or goods, approval of prices, approval of extensions and footings, and the last approval for disbursement by check issuer. These must be reflected on each of the supporting invoices and filled in completely before payments. This will help in the elimination of errors from poor handling of important documents.
In summary, there are many work routines that are faced by sales representatives. One must plan the day and hold meetings with the sales team. The various areas during these work routines which need improvement in business include marketing, sales, order, receipt, and document, as well as customer complaints. An important step to improving performance on sales is breaking business mission into various goals. On the other hand, improving marketing necessitates that goals should be set to include increasing brand awareness, leads, customer satisfaction and retention. Either, businesses must keep comprehensive customer complaints records from complaints about their solutions. Such records need to be assessed time after time to identify regular complaints and formulate important steps to improve the business processes. Lastly, handling of documents can be improved through the use of the electronic system to eliminate manual records which might be easily compromised.
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