Business Magazine

Four Reasons to Share “News from the Front Lines”

Posted on the 28 December 2011 by Billcookonline @billcookonline

You are responsible for a sales team. How do you communicate what you do and what your sales team does with other leaders and departments at your company? I ask this question because I think it’s important for sales leaders at all levels to teach others what we do. My experience is that most people in other functions like finance, operations and IT do not have any idea what we do or why.

Yesterday, I confirmed this when I went to see a clinical director to drop off a friend’s resume’. The director commented on an email that I had copied all company managers on. The subject line of the email was, “News from the Front Lines”, and highlighted last week’s sales and business development activities and gave specific direction to our outside sales team on what to do during this typically “slow” week in between the holidays. The clinical director commented that he liked the email and the direction I gave, and that he had “no idea” what it was like for the sales team and that the email helped him to understand not only what they do, but what I do to push and encourage them to stay at when others are taking time off.

So, take the time to communicate what you are doing and why. Here are the benefits:

1. Disclosure will build understanding and trust. Your peers in other departments will have a better idea of what sales and sales management is all about. If you think about it, selling is really just a transfer of trust anyway, so why not build trust and respect with other managers? They will appreciate it.

2. Senior management will know what you and your team are doing. I cannot stress this enough. You know from your days as a sales representative that you must be proactive to build relationships, and it’s no different when you are a sales manager. One of your jobs is to make sure that those leading the company have the opportunity to see firsthand what you are up to, should they choose to. Reports are one thing, and they can get their hands on all kinds of reports, but it’s far better to show your stuff by citing actual occurrences and your specific direction to your team.

3. Organizational culture will bend towards being sales driven. The more every department head and senior leader knows what’s going on in sales the more likely the company will have a sales driven culture. Most health care companies are operationally driven, and sadly, the sales team takes a back seat to operations. Company cultures in these organizations tend to have what I call “operational inertia”, a tendency to avoid risk and to keep old processes in place because “that’s the way we do things”. Opening up a better understanding of the sales effort helps to break down processes that are not customer friendly.

4. Sales reps will pay more attention to what they are accomplishing. For competitive types like reps, there is nothing like seeing one of your calls in an email that company leaders are reading, or seeing another rep getting kudos for doing something well. This drives friendly competition and spurs reps on to find a big win for the next email that goes out.

So, share what’s going on and what you doing to direct your team. The benefits are worth the effort. Have a great New 2012!

Bill Cook
Vice President, Sales
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy


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