community building

The characteristics of a good sales manager

A Polish Linkedin Group is having a discussion about the characteristics of a good sales manager.. something I was discussing with the CEOs of three companies I am involved in yesterday during our Annual General Meetings, so the topic is on my mind.. I posted the original group here

Jakie cechy są warunkiem koniecznym bycia dobrym Sales Managerem
What are the features of a good sales manager

– to able to set an example, so be not just able but willing to demonstrate to his/her team how to sell, and work in the way and at the pace he/she requires of those who report

be a leader – to get the team to work willingly towards the company goals

to be able to take tough decisions

to be able to attract and retain talented sales people

to be ruthlessly well organised, to set realistic KPIs and then monitor them

to have good business skills focussed on long term profit and client satisfaction” to make sure the company does not start doing things that are stupid in the chase for short term targets.

to set demanding and realistic goals for sales and margin together with top management

to bring the best of the team, helping the high fliers fly even higher (20% improvement from the top sales guy is much more than 40% improvement at the bottom)

co ordinate with other departments (production, finance) to make sure that major opportunities are given highest level attention and priority

to be fair minded and just when allocating commission for new and repeat business

ensure that sales people get the right training, coaching both internally and externally, that they know what do do and how to do it.

have a clear sales process and ensure that it is rational, followed and open to agreed modification and improvement.

have good relationships with key clients.

work effectively with marketing and make sure that sales people know what to do when they are not getting enough leads

Ensure that existing and new clients are properly and efficiently mapped, DMUs (decision making units)  and opportunities are fully understood and exploited

They must love their job. Of course top sales managers are very well paid… but they should be into it as well  ..  it must be for more than the money.

community building

10 lessons fron the Honeywell Operating System

This week’s Economist has a valuable article of the way Honeywell is run. Here I draw out ten points that make sense to me.

1. Time management, lots of short (15 minute) meetings where people stand up. no long boring meetings.

2. Tools and tricks to create an urgent environment (like special coloured clocks on the wall, labels where people should stand on the floor creating social pressure on late comers.

3. Daily meetings for suggestions of realistic process improvements,

4. lots of measurable results (4 times faster to do make x, higher profits, revenues, cash generation, 2 ideas per employ per month)

5. successful implementation of management theory (theory without good implementation is so much BS)

6. 12 “behaviours” including customer focus, self-awareness and championing change as opposed to values which are hard to measure.

7 Employees were indoctrinated in a forthright retraining exercise, known as One Honeywell (“One Hon”).

8. “better to do it right than quickly” as in Tim Harford’s Unilever example in his wonderful TED Global talk: Trial and Error God Complex
– initial template following visit to Toyota,
– pilot in 10 factories. worked in half.
– tweaked and tested in 5 more factories
– deployed broadly.

9 Decentralization. “hardest … was to get workers—… to adjust to a more decentralised power structure. “You have to get to the point where people say, ‘this is how I do my job now’,”

10. cost cutting can go to far as in Allied Signal. spending money can be good if it is to raise productivity and make money

Key facts about Honeywell here US$36.5bn revenue $3.5bn Ebitda