Managing sales force productivity part 5


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An understanding to developing organizational culture to support sales and every corporate business area.

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Managing sales force productivity part 5

  1. 1. Managing Work Force Productivity Replacing your work force with competent human resource will be a short lived solution if the organization’s own innovative capabilities are seized to respond to the changing business environment “ If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old ” Peter F Drucker K. M. Saleem – Director Sales Forces of Business Demon Believe it or not, it’s a fight between good and evil even in the business world. You can’t see a business demon. I have been in situations when people are competent but organizations are not capable. Companies are experienced but the decision making is too slow. Rules & policies are well stated but don’t seem to intimidate people staying away from disobedience. Hierarchical structures & departmentalization is there but boundaries are blurred. Job commitment is high but job involvement is low. Sounds strange, isn’t it? Astonishingly, it is very difficult to pin point the people responsible in such cases. Even then we attempt to hold few accountable and replace them too, but the change turns out to be very temporary. The demon knows it very well that companies will replace people and can acquire good machines and support ware that is why it will not possess much of the people or except for very few top guys. Its main target is the “organization’s innovative capabilities” which means that organization’s own capabilities to invent a change in response to internal & external events have been seized. It’s not about managerial decision only; the organization itself becomes incapable of identifying the change and a system generated response will never get activated. Nature’s Perspective of Organizational Failure A very famous saying; “Change before it becomes inevitable”. It seems pretty logical because it indicates life. All the living organism change the way they look, their abilities and try to become as compatible to the environment as possible during their course of life cycle. Nature is the best teacher. Viruses don’t change. Their origin goes back to millions of years ago but they are still the same small organism because they don’t accept change and whenever there is change in environment they simply become inactive or die instead of fighting back. Scientists don’t regard them even as life they are called the “edge of life”. Dinosaurs became big and powerful as long as their ancestors were responding to the change with a change. But there is an inherent problem with growing very big; your brain is likely to remain smaller to manage your big body and muscles – the very reason for the extinction of dinosaurs. At last, the brain was not able to respond to the damage of the body parts or could not proactively plan to save from the potential damage and they started dying away. Sometimes, you want to drive fast to get to the destination. You are a licensed driver and you run the car at a very high speed because you don’t want to compromise on time but you are actually compromising Venture & Agents
  2. 2. Managing Work Force Productivity “I know several thousand things that won’t work“ Thomas Edison “The best way to predict the future is to invent it“ K. M. Saleem – Director Sales on one thing that is your vision – your ability to see things around. As you increase the speed, your vision gets narrower and you will not be able to look around except for focusing all your sight & energy on the highway. You will miss all the good opportunities on the way to your destination. On the other hand, a broader vision will slow down your speed. The intelligence is neither the high speed nor a wider vision at low speed; it’s hidden in following the principles which allow you to enjoy both the speed & the vision. It’s easy to work out that demonic forces will always astray you from natural course of action. We have seen companies surviving small and inactive as virus life since many years. Similarly, big dinosaur like names died away because of their inability to expand their intelligence and empower more people within their organization for strategic thinking. There are companies who have got to the destination as market leaders but left behind lot of expansion and branching out opportunities and now struggling back to acquire them to enjoy a larger portfolio of products and customers. Lastly, the companies wanting to broaden the horizons got themselves so much over burdened with huge diversification that they lost the brand image they were originally meant for and now exerting energies to reposition in the market.  Invention & Innovation Relationship Invention is often perceived as meanings of innovation or a result of innovation. This misperception was built-up on the very fact of few successful inventions that gave organizations a clear advantage in their product portfolios or production’s cost & management. These inventions which were initially perceived as competitive advantage later turned out to be a short lived benefit as these were copied or were even over-developed by the industry. Invention is all about the creativity of human minds, primarily targeted for incremental value addition. Whereas, innovation is an institutionalized mechanism of an organization to invent a change for remedial, radical and incremental value creation anytime and time after time. Invention can be purchased but you cannot buy innovation. Here comes in the concept of “inventive organizations” often misunderstood as “innovative organizations”. There is a very fine line between being “innovative” and “inventive” and rarely organizations can find themselves turning inventive from innovative. Inventive organizations will always try to contain their inventiveness to their R&D department or restrict to very few top level people but innovative organizations will cascade down the innovative behaviors to every employee. They define Venture & Agents
  3. 3. Managing Work Force Productivity the processes & values that innovation matters at all levels of the company.  Knowledge & Skill Relationship People are always best defined by their abilities and human ability is neither the possession of bulk of information not it’s the capacity to perform big loads of work. It’s a result of direct relationship between knowledge & skill. Not every information is a knowledge, it is the only information that is retained by our system (which can be a human brain also) and is retrievable at the time of need. As human beings, we come across to lot of information every day through our senses and experience but we need to ensure a deliberate conversion of information into knowledge so that it can be reclaimed whenever desirable. That’s what we try to evaluate at the time of interview that how much a prospective candidate is able to recall the job related information and present it as associated knowledge. The skills can only be acquired when knowledge is practiced and without the requisite knowledge is just not possible to develop skills in any area. The hiring process should ensure a minimum knowledge and skill set of its people and then developing them further is the organization’s responsibility. This is where most of organizations fail to cope with the market demand of human resource competence. They fall short of processes and values that foster the development of human abilities of their people. Knowledge power and skills of our teams and individuals define the human ability to perform a task.  Attitude & Situation Relationship Whenever we talk about team’s productivity and especially sales teams, the subject of motivation comes up as a foremost important driving force. Undoubtedly, a motivated sales team can do wonders but we need to understand what exactly we mean by that. Motivation is all about “sense of achievement”. Higher the sense of achievement, higher will be the motivation level of the team. It’s a very delicate form of human emotion and cultivates only in positive situations that is a “culture of appreciation”. A positive attitude whenever gets a positive situation or in other words, “whenever a winning attitude is appreciated, it will result in immense motivation. I understand that without a victory in hand it’s very difficult to appreciate something which does not exist but leaders have to find the ways out and opportunities for that. Rather we should institutionalize a process of formal appreciation but believe me an informal gratitude fosters greater sense of achievement than anything else. I still remember, one day my K. M. Saleem – Director Sales Venture & Agents
  4. 4. Managing Work Force Productivity “The opposite of motivation is the absence of sense of achievement” K. M. Saleem – Director Sales boss calling me and said; “Saleem! Your have been marvelous yesterday, you did highest sales of the day in the country”. It might have gone unnoticed if my boss had not known the concept of appreciation of a victory which is still not in hand yet. It gave me a very high sense of achievement, probably higher than any recognized quarterly awards I ever got. That was a buck up for the next quarterly target catch. It’s a formula that a positive attitude when added with positive situation, will result in positive motivation and if anything out of the attitude & situation is negative, the motivation will go negative. An important confusion must be cleared between motivation & satisfaction. Many a times, we try to address the satisfaction levels of our teams and expect motivation to come out of it. Satisfaction is related to monetary incentives, rewards, compensation or job descriptions which may work as a tool of motivation for a short while but after some time, it is perceived as a norm and a right to claim. We need to understand that a satisfied employee may still need to be motivated. From this point onwards, the opposite of motivation is not demotivation, it’s the absence of sense of achievement. Ensuring a higher job satisfaction level among your teams can be a step forward to motivating them but actual motivation will only turn on when we provide a positive work environment to satisfied employees which will create a will to excel in their performances. Venture & Agents