Contract performance managementAn essential step in managing the performance of salespeople is that of establishing asound and agreed contract between manager and the salesperson. A contract in thiscontext is simply an agreement between the manager and the salesperson as to how bestthey are going to work together. It is a chance for each party to outline expectations,hopes and fears and is a superb opportunity for both the manager and salesperson to fullyunderstand each other in terms of personality style, motivators and de-motivators. It isalso an opportunity for the manager to ensure that the salesperson fully understands theirrole and their responsibilities as well as their sales and activity targets.So, how does contracting work?Contracting should start right at the beginning of a manager: salesperson relationship.The manager should meet with the salesperson and each person should have aims inrespect to the meeting which are along the following lines:For the Manager:o To ensure that the salesperson feels welcomed and part of the team.o To ensure that the salesperson understands their role and responsibilities.o To ensure that the salesperson knows what the team/company rules and regulations are.o To ensure that the salesperson knows what their sales and activity targets are and howthey are going to be measured.o To outline the managers expectations of the salesperson in terms of behaviour,attendance, personal qualities etc.o To explain what management style the manager has and what motivates the managerand de-motivates them.o To understand what motivates and de-motivates the salespersono To begin to understand the salespersons personality styles and preferences.o To agree what support the manager is going to provide in relation to the salespersonsprogress and development.o To agree a communication process.
For the Salesperson:o To fully understand how the manager likes to operate.o To understand exactly what the role requirements are in terms of responsibilities,objectives and measures.o To understand any administration procedures such as e-mail, expenses etc.o To know a bit more about the team and culture.o To understand any team rules, responsibilities and meetings dates.o To address any hopes and fears that they may have.o To understand how best the manager is going to support the salesperson.o What does the salesperson do if they need help?In reality, how many of these aims are actually realised in a first meeting? Chances arethat the meeting will be very "one way" with the manager doing a lot of talking andoutlining what is expected of the salesperson both in terms of the company regulationsand the salespersons activity and sales targets. If the managers approach is very "oneway" then they are missing a tremendous opportunity to get to understand thesalespersons personality, not to mention their strengths and development areas. Thechances are also high that the salesperson will sit back and listen as opposed to being pro-active and outlining exactly what they need to know and whatever else is going on intheir head!Our culture is still very based on the hierarchy where a manager tells the salespersonwhat to do. As a result there is always the danger of not getting the best out of thesalesperson by taking this approach. Simply by employing more questions and listeningto the answers will reveal not only more about the salesperson in terms of theircapabilities and understanding, but will also start to make the salesperson feel valued andas a result, trust and respect will start to build between the salesperson and manager. Thisis the basis for a productive relationship.By taking more time in the initial meeting and by employing questioning and listeningtechniques the manager can establish quick rapport and also start to understand exactlywhat makes the salesperson "tick". In other words, they will learn what "buttons to press"in order to ensure constant motivation in their salespeople. Too many managers still donot know, even after working with some of their salespeople for some time, specificallywhat motivates and de-motivates each individual. Many managers will claim they know,but when you ask them to outline what each of their salespersons primary intangibleneeds are, you almost inevitably get the "silent stare"!
Contracting is a vital skill and one which needs to be "two way" ensuring that bothmanager and salesperson get the opportunity to talk and to understand each other. It is notjust about outlining roles, responsibilities, rules, objectives and measures; it is aboutlistening, understanding, and building rapport, trust and respect. The meeting needs timeand depth. A quick telephone call is totally inadequate - it must be face to face.Too many managers do not spend enough time with their salespeople in the initial stagesof the relationship and even when they do spend time it can tend to be very much "oneway". The manager then runs the risk of not ensuring understanding, stifling opinion,creativity and innovation together with potentially causing frustration and subsequent de-motivation. This is inadequate performance management.http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.