November 20, 2008

Sales management is mostly about relationship management. Many times, sale suffers not because of any real issue but because small issues affecting customers or trade partners are left unattended. This leads to dissatisfied customers and disgruntled trade partners who feel ignored and develop bitterness. With time, this becomes a big issue and seriously starts affecting business.

Generally, a polished sales man or a sales manager would not allow this to happen and will do whatever it takes to delight customer while maintaining a win-win scenario. But occasionally, sales guys forget the fundamental rules and develop arrogance. This particularly happens with companies who are strong market leaders and who in absence of strong competition become complacent. Customers and trade partners are taken for granted. As long as competitive pressures are absent, these issues remain subdued. But once competitive pressures appear, these hidden resentments become a Pandora box of agony.

Resolving these issues which are mostly local in nature is a sure way to improve things. The issues may appear small but when these local issues from across different geographical market are given importance and resolved on priority, the magnitude of sales improvement is collectively huge.

So when your sale is going down, first of all check whether your customers and trade partners are happy, taken care of, and well serviced. Problems more often than not would have local roots.