Thursday, 15 December 2011

Financial Crisis Sales Team Issues

A lot of companies faced problems in the last 3 years and one of the most affected departments, when things are not working the way they should, is the Sales Department.
We can all understand that the economy is not doing too well but not too many managers think about the impact it has on the employees, specially the ones that work in Sales.

Accelera made an interesting study about the mental status and reactions of sales representatives when they are facing hard times.

Below you can find the result of the research:

Status Issue
Give Up Status

Lock Status

Performance Status

Extrinsic and Materialist:
-Afraid of losing his job
-Small remuneration, but sure
Intrinsic and based on ego
-Save the appearances
-Maintain his position
-To prove that he is right and nothing else works
Intrinsic, competitive and generous
-”We have to change the situation”
-”If we made it once we can do it again”
Materialist and Pasive:
-”Atleast to pay for the bank”
-He doesn’t really have any objectives, it is more likely him to aim for opportunities
Reasoned by an external factor:
-”We cannot do anything if Parliament doesn’t approve that law”
-”If we could lower the prices with 50%”
Proactive and practical
-”If we could get at least 3 more customers this month”
Reaction to concurence
Choosing only one factor that can influence the situation:
-”There is no reason to keep trying if I can’t offer a lower price”
Frustration and avoidance to keep his Ego
-”They are all retarded, they ruined the market !”
-”Don’t tell me what is the competition doing, I don’t care”
Acceptance and motivation
-”We always had competition, nothing new”
-”I read everything about our competition”
Reaction to the internal competition
-”I did everything I was told to do, there is no reason for me to get fired”
-”Let them fire me, I’ll find something better”
-”I have some good projects, good deals, I don’t think I have to worry”
Confidence, Self-respect
Very low:
-”I made a big mistake to work in this domain”
-”Everybody tells us that we are not doing a good job”
-”I told them but nobody listens to me”
-”It’s not my fault”
-”We have a lot of advantages”
-”We did once, let’s do it again”
Reaction to criticism
Accepted with resignation. There is no action to fix the problem:
-”He is right when he says that”
-Yes, I know...”
Denied and Refused to protect his Ego:
-”I don’t have any problem, the problem is the market and the price”
-”It’s easy to criticise !”
Accepted and followed by good actions:
-”I didn’t realise that but I will keep that in my mind”
-”Let’s see how can we fix this”
Employee thoughts
Internal, Fear:
-”What am I going to do if they fire me ?”
-“I didn’t sell anything this week, they will start to criticise me again”
Internal, Past, Self-Lying:
-”I should have left this company when I had the chance”
-”If there was a solution I would have found it”
External, Future, Opportunity:
-”When things are going bad you have to struggle more”
-”What solution did others find ?”

Salesmen that find themselves in the Give Up Status act very relaxed and passive: they usually obey, they listen and they do their working time but they do not reach the target.

Salesmen that find themselves in the Lock Status are usually passive and they are agressive: they refuse any kind of help, they easily get angry and they do not agree with any kind of strategy, they are unsatisfied with the money that they earn and they keep talking about the past (good times).

Salesmen that find themselves in the Performance Status are usually assertive. They agree to sacrifice themselves until the company goes back on track,  they accept that the salary is lower since the company is not doing too well and they put a lot of pressure  on themselves and on their co-workers to achieve their objectives.