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1.0.1 Purpose and Background:
The purpose of this report is to determine the cause of the decline in sales at Fischer & Holmes and to recommend possible solutions to the prevalent problems.
This report is in response to the declining sales of the last 8 months. By compiling data gathered from psychological tests undertaken by sales staff over the same periods in the past 4 years and comparing this with the sales figures of the respective periods, we have come up a graph shown in appendix 1.The graph indicates a direct relation with the morale of the sales staff and the decline in sales. The drop in morale seems to have started when F&H underwent company-wide restructuring a year ago. This restructuring led to untrained sales agents gaining promotion to sales manager.
- Discuss and analyze each problem individually: How and why the specific problems have occurred.
- Recommendations will also be discussed individually per problem: What will recommend needs to be done to rectify the problem.
- Observe the work area and how personnel interact with each other.
- Examine all personnel records and employment histories of sales staff.
- Conduct interviews and psychological evaluations with sales personnel.
2.0Background: Name of company, purpose, year established, countries which it operates in.
3.0 Results and Recommendations:
3.1 Downward Communication
The problems we have encountered include poor downward communication in general from sales managers to agents and also poor downward communication by managers during team meetings.
From the collection of data we, as a company, hypothesize that the promotion of these managers without appropriate management skills and training has resulted in a lack of concern and care for their subordinates. Further to this, it has been discovered that managers are predominantly using fear to generate desired sales. This becomes apparent in team meetings, where the manager's clear lack of managerial competence becomes obvious through the agents forcefulness towards sales staff in an attempt to make more sales. Psychological data gathered shows that sales agent's morale is at their lowest after team meetings. We further theorize that this overall negative attitude of several sales managers has resulted in lack of motivation and increase of absenteeism amongst the sales agents; which has led to their dismal performances.
We have come up with a number of solutions to combat these workplace problems and have compiled them in a list as follows:
- Conduct an in-depth analysis of the sales managers' current skills to determine their managerial traits and ability to lead a sales team.
- We Recommend that those found fit will undergo individual coaching by People Bridge and those found unfit will attend a comprehensive management skills training workshop and will also undergo individual coaching.
- Conduct meeting facilitation workshop focusing on creating an agenda and motivation of a sales team.
- Have a “People Bridge” consultant sit in during the first few sales team meetings as a follow-up step.
- All sales managers will undergo communication skills workshop.
- Have all managers join Toastmasters Clubs in their area as a follow-up on communication skills training.
3.2 Upward Communication
Another main problem we have encountered is the poor upward communication by sales agents who have not been submitting their sales reports to their sales managers and also the poor upward communication by sales managers in submitting “guesswork” reports to higher management.
From conducting this investigation, People Bridge hasfound that sales managers do not have concern for the importance of the data provided in their agent's sales reports. We have observed that sales managers seldom require their agents to submit their reports. In a survey conducted on the sales agents, we found that 89% of the agents did not know the proper format of a sales report and that 76% did not know that they were required to submit a sales report. We have also observed that F&H does not utilize a contact resource management (CRM) system.YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN WHAT A CRM IS AND WHAT IT DOES!!!
We further theorize that sales managers will often submit “guesswork” reports to higher management. This is due sales managers inability to recognize sales reports from their agents and therefore go to higher management for support. In a related survey, 100% of the sales managers submit their reports but the apparently wrong information submitted by the sales managers may have led management to misread the market and come up with ineffective strategies to augment company sales.
People Bridge has come up with several solutions have been found to fix these problems. These include:
- Employing a free web-based CRM and make it compulsory for the sales team to use.
- Coach higher management on how to use the CRM to monitor all sales activity. By doing this we hope to encourage the sales agents and managers to do their reports.
- Conduct training to all necessary personnel on how to use the CRM.
- Conduct refresher sales training for existing sales agents focusing on the importance of reports.
- Conduct data analysis training for sales managers.
- Purchase permanent CRM if necessary.
4.1 Recommendation Summary and Conclusion:
Our recommendationspredominantly focus on the sales managers and how to bring them up to the competency level F&H requires. Complementary trainings and coaching needs to be scheduled for higher management and the sales agents in order to support the activities for the sales managers and get the business back on track. We have divided the recommendations as follows:
- Analyse - Conduct an in-depth analysis of the sales manager's managerial skills, reporting habits and attitudes to determine proper courses of actions.
- Trainings, Workshops and Coaching - This is to arm all necessary personnel with proper skills, habits and attitudes to ensure every employee is equipped to perform their task.
- Software Application (CRM) - This is to create a quick, effective and easy reporting environment that higher management can utilize to monitor what transpires in the sales department.
It is apparent that the main problem is the inability of sales managers to communicate and lead their teams. Therefore, it is imperative that we train the sales managers immediately and that the avenues of communications (CRM, meetings, etc.) be utilized properly. By doing this, we will be able to regain your “lost ground” in sales.