Encouraging Sales Managers to carry out Kerb-side Training

Introduction

1 A Client asked the following question: how do i encourage medio­cre sales managers to engage in kerb-side training when they have no knowledge of that type of training themselves and see little or no need for it?

2 The following notes aim to answer this question.

encouragement – by the use of role-playing

3 Some Sales Managers have altered their attitudes to kerb-side coaching quite significantly as a result of role-playing training which involves kerb-side coaching.

4 The following section gives one approach to carrying out such role-playing.*

procedure for a role-playing session

5 Select a role-playing situation which involves a common problem for the Company’s Sales Representatives and which uses an important Company Product.**

6 Select A to take the part of the Sales Representative and B to take the part of the Prospect. In addition select C and D to take the role of Sales Managers.

7 Both C and D observe while A and B carry out the selling situation.

8 Ask D to leave the room. Ask C to carry out kerb-side coaching in the same way as he/she would if doing so in the field.

9 Immediately after C finishes, bring D into the room and ask him/her to do the same thing as C did.

10 All other Sales Supervisors/Managers should act as Observers. When D acts as Sales Manager, C can observe what D does. However the procedure does not allow D to observe C – to avoid baising what D does in the kerb­side coaching.

* For further information on Role-Playing see the Cullen Morton notes on: “Some Points on Role-Playing” and “Some Hints for conducting Role-Playing Training”.

** This step assumes the Organisation has some suitable role- playing situations already prepared; if not, the Organisation will need to prepare some. For assistance, obtain copies of the Cullen Morton notes: Prepara­tion of Client Role-Playing situations.

11 The following diagram summarises the approach.

1 A B - C, D & all other Represen -tatives. Representative attempts to sell Prospect B a Coy. Product.
2 A - C All other Represen- tatives. D Sales Managers aim to improve the future per-formance of the Representatives by discussing the performance of the Represent -ative with Prospect B.
3 A I- ID C & all other Represent -atives.

12 The whole group should then consider the kerb-side coaching of C and D to select what they did well, what they did poorly, and how they could improve in future coaching situations.

13 Provided the Conference Leader (Trainer) runs the training sessions skillfully many people will see potential in kerb-side coaching. They will see the need to improve their own activities in what they do in trying to improve the performance of their Representatives.

Encouragement – By The Use Of Group Discussions

14 A Company who wishes to use a less-direct approach might consider using the following ideas.

15 Arrange for the Sales Supervisors/Managers to attend a group discussion on the subject “How should effective Sales Managers try to improve the performance of their Sales Representatives”.

16 The Conference Leader would encourage the Sales Manager to list as many methods as they can. The methods should include both written and oral communications – either separately or in combination.

17 Once the Managers identify possible methods they should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. When they get to oral communications they should consider both where, and when, to communicate.

18 These topics should help the Conference Leader to introduce the idea of kerb-side coaching – if not already introduced. The Leader can help the Sales Managers to discuss this technique and its advantages and disadvan­tages.

19 Probably most Sales Managers will accept that they should have oral discussions with their Sales Representatives to improve their performance. The Leader can encourage them to identify just what they will discuss and the specific ways they will learn that their Representatives have a need to improve their performance.

20 The above approach should help Sales Managers to accept that kerb-side coaching has some definite advantages which will outweigh its disadvan­tages.

21 However particular attitudes of some Sales Managers may still prove an obstacle. They might desire to avoid having to criticise their Representa­tive in a way which will spoil their relationship with the Representative.

22 These Sales Managers will need to carry out such an activity without feeling disturbed or worried about it.

23 The Conference Leader should steer the conference towards the possibil­ity that Sales Managers can, and should, carry out the activity in a way which does not disturb their relationship with their Representatives.

24 The identification of situations where Sales Representatives genuinely look for help from their Sales Managers to cope with problems they have will help to influence the attitude of the Conference Members in the right direction.

25 Possibly this method of encouragement requires a more-skilled confer­ence leader than the previous demonstration of kerb-side training through role-playing situations.

26 Sometimes a Company should use both methods since they compliment each other.

Conclusion

27 Both the above methods aim to expose Sales Managers to the technique of kerb-side training without forcing them to listen to the ideas of one person taking a “telling” one-way-communication approach.

28 The first approach exposes them to a demonstration of some kerb- side training and allows them to hear how other people evaluate the technique.

29 The second approach exposes Sales Managers to the opinions of their peers about what kerb-side training involves and its advantages and disad­vantages. Whether this approach will succeed depends on the knowledge and attitude of the people in the group discussion and the skills of the person leading the discussion.

Encouraging Sales Managers to carry out Kerb-Side Training

Introduction

1 A Client asked the following question -  How Do I Encourage Medio­cre Sales Managers to Engage in Kerb-Side Training when they have no Knowledge of that Type of Training Themselves and see Little or No Need for It?

2 The following notes aim to answer this question.

Encouragement – By The Use Of Role-Playing

3 Some Sales Managers have altered their attitudes to kerb-side coaching quite significantly as a result of role playing training which involves kerb-side training.

4 The following section gives one approach to carrying out such role-playing *

Procedure For A Role-Playing Session

5 Select a role-playing situation which involves a common problem for the Company’s Sales Representatives and which uses an important Company Product.**

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Encourage Movers of written Motions to include the Reason for the Motion in any written Material they submit

1 Most Meetings will make wiser decisions and need less time if whoever submits a written motion also includes the reasons behind the motion.

2 This approach will:

(a) allow Members to consider the motion in more detail before the Meeting;

(b) save meeting time – since the Mover of the motion should not have to explain the ideas all over again; and

(c) allow Members to have a better understanding of the motion.

3 Example. The mover of a written motion sent it out to Meeting Members before the Meeting but did not include any reasons for and/or background to, the motion. At the Meeting, the explanation of the need for the motion and/or the discussion about the motion led one Member to make the comment: “Why didn’t you tell us the motion aimed to fix up that problem. Now I favour it; before I did not”.

4 The non-inclusion of a reason proves much more wasteful if a meeting Member represents another body or sub-section of the Meeting’s Organisation and has to say: “Our Group/Branch/Section instructed me to vote against the motion but I believe our Group would have supported it if they had received the reasons for the motion that you have just given us”.

5 The above does not suggest that meetings cannot, or should not, accept motions without reasons. It does suggest that all Members should encourage movers of motions to supply reasons.

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Encourage all Report Writers to set out Recommendations as a Separate Paragraph

Introduce each recommendation with the word “recommendation” and underline the recommendation

1 All reports should highlight recommendations which the reporter will move (as a motion).

2 One approach would set out each recommendation as a separate paragraph and introduce each one with a heading “Recommendation”.

3 This approach would allow Members to pick out motions for consideration more easily. Members who speak to reports placed before the meeting will have less chance of losing them. The Chairperson can keep Reporters “on the point” by only allowing them to discuss items on which a Reporter wants some decision.

4 However, sometimes, a Chairperson should also allow some discussion of “just information”. This approach will prove useful where the topic in­cludes some very important information and Members might not realise its significance – if they prepared poorly for the meeting.

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Encourage all Report Writers to number all Paragraphs in Reports

1 Any Report which goes before a Meeting for discussion will facilitate the discussion, if it uses paragraph numbers.

2 When somebody says: “Have a look at the seventh paragraph from the top”, people will waste time trying to find the paragraph the Speaker identifies.

3 Usually people start talking about a paragraph without even identifying it.

4 A different symbol for each paragraph (e.g. a number) will help to identify a paragraph to which different Speakers refer.

5 Paragraph identification also helps some cross referencing between one part of the report and another.

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Encourage each Meeting Participant to accept Praise and/or Blame for the Success/Failure of Meeting Items and Processes

1 Most Members of Meetings appear to have the attitude – if the meeting fails the fault lies with the Chairman. THey do not assign any blame to themselves. Thus if a Chairman does not know how to handle a particular situation they tend to feel frustrated. They avoid going to the meeting.

2 If they go, they try to think of something and/or vent their aggression (resulting from their frustration) on Meeting Members or their ideas in some other aspect both in and out of the Meeting.

3 Members should recognise when the meeting processes and/or the Chairman has failed and the Chairman doe snot tend to know how to deal with the situation and/or recognise his own failure. When it happens Meeting Mem­bers will help to reduce their frustration and improve the chances of the Meeting achieving its objectives if they try to help the Chairman and other Members make progress.

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Encourage Meeting Members to ask Recording Secretary to read Motions before Voting

1 Meeting Members quite often find themselves voting on a motion they do not really understand. A reading of the motion before voting on it will help to avoid this happening. It will also help avoid one or a few Members “rushing through” a motion without giving people time to understand and/or think about it.

2 This procedure increases the time spent in the meeting on any one mo­tion. However these notes have a common approach which suggests that people try to “get through” meetings too quickly. Invariably it affects the quality of the decision making and reduces the probability that imple­mentation of ideas will occur with effectiveness and efficiency outside the meeting.

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Changing People – Bases for Deciding to encourage People to change

Introduction

1 These notes follow on the notes on “Changing People – Try to change them or offer them the chance to change”.

2 The other notes set out the following framework – one person or group (called Providers) want another person or group (Prospects) to change so that the Prospects can achieve Objective X. The notes pointed out that often Providers have a method (a service or product) which someone (usually the Providers) believes will help the Prospects achieve objective X.

3 Thus the following four elements exist in changing people: Providers, Prospects, an Objective, and a Method to achieve the objective.

4 However, cases exist where Prospects know how to achieve objective X. For this situation only three elements exist – Provider, Prospect, and Objective.

5 However an additional element of persuasion (encouragement) also exists – provided Providers decide they will try to get the Prospect to change.

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Encouraging Sales Managers to carry out Kerb-Side Training A

Introduction

1 A Client asked the following question – How do i encourage medio­cre sales managers to engage in kerb-side training when they have no knowledge of that type of training themselves and see little or no need for it?

2 The following notes aim to answer this question.

Encouragement – by the use of Role-Playing

3 Some Sales Managers have altered their attitudes to kerb-side coaching quite significantly as a result of role-playing training which involves kerb-side coaching.

4 The following section gives one approach to carrying out such role-playing.*

Procedure for a Role-Playing Session

5 Select a role-playing situation which involves a common problem for the Company’s Sales Representatives and which uses an important Company Product.**

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Definition – Incentive

1 Incentive – an object and/or condition which tends to encourage a person to take action to obtain the object and/or condition.

Notes

“Object”

2 An “object” in the above definition would include a wide variety of concrete tangible things.

3 Examples. Money, a prize (cup, trophy, silver tray).

“Condition”

4 A “condition” would relate to a person and describe a desired envi­ronment for the particular person.

5 Examples. Praise from the Boss, picture in the organisa­tion journal, a feeling of self satisfaction, love/liking from another person.

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