Companies thrive when each department within the company functions at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. When one department in the company is not operating optimally not only does it affect that particular department it can also have a spillover effect, causing problems in many other or all of the other company departments.
Discovering the cause of why this is occurring is not always simple. Because you are dealing with company dynamics, humans, and hard to achieve objectives, it could be challenging to get to the root cause of issues. But discovering what it is causing the dysfunction is so important, management has no choice but to come up with an effective strategy for fixing things.
When the dysfunction is in the sales department, it can be terrifying because sales is often the most critical department at a company. So when it is the sales department, management must move quickly and decisively, or the result might negatively impact the company dramatically. Here are some strategies for management to use when the goal is to improve efficiency and effectiveness and root out dysfunction in the sales department.
Conduct one-on-one meetings with sales managers
The best way to understand why things aren’t going the way you would like, is to have a series of one-on-one meetings with each sales manager. Your 1-on-1 meeting agenda should have the look and feel of your typical one-on-one meetings and as an additional agenda item, focus on the sales manager’s ideas for why the department is not meeting expectations. The key to the successful outcome of this meeting is your preparation.
In advance forward to east sales manager a list of questions regarding the current activities in the sales department. You should expect, that this list will and how to answer these questions will be shared amongst the sales managers. Your goal is not to single anyone out however, it is to get them to work together on their own to get to the bottom of the problems. Because realistically they will both be in a better position to know the problems, and to fix them, providing they are not the problem.
So their sharing the list amongst themselves and discussing answers, can actually be very helpful. If you find in your meetings that each of them has the same or very similar answer, you are making great and fast progress.
Make sure the company is not the problem
Although we would like to believe that dysfunction and lower productivity is the result of team members not performing to their maximum capabilities, quite often what is actually the case is the company has processes and operating strategies that inhibit their ability to perform.
Management needs to review how it is requesting the sales team to operate. Are there things that they are being asked to do that works against company objectives? Are they being asked to divide their time between administrative work and sales work in proportions that don’t allow them to bring in more revenue? Are they being made to attend meetings that consume too much of their mind power and time? Do they have the tools necessary to close the deals that they are being asked? Are the other departments in your company not sufficiently supporting or even interfering with their sales efforts?
If any of these are the case, they could be the cause of your problems. Examine how your company operates with a goal of being honest and seeking to get the best outcome no matter where the facts might lead.
Finding problems is a process and your goal should be to not just discover a fix for whatever is causing the problem, but you also institute a process so that when problems occur in the future it is clear how they should be dealt with.