A strong manager is a shortage. And then, the concept of “strong” is very vague. Is he strong because he got money customers? Or is he strong because he is attracting new customers to the company? Or simply because it makes more revenue than the rest?
A manager that everyone is not happy with is the most common picture on the market. This unfortunate one is to blame for the fact that the sales plan is not fulfilled, that the prepayment for the season has not been paid, that the base of "sleeping" customers is growing, and even that he also receives a salary. Although, of course, the wholesale manager is not the seller of the retail store! This person is much more significant, an employee who owns the "holy of holies" - the company's customer base. Therefore, the management of the wholesale company always knows each manager, not just by sight, but also by name, communicates with him directly and even sometimes asks for advice.
Let's see who the wholesale manager really is and why we value him so much and are so afraid of losing.
Manager in the literal translation from English - head, manager. What does the manager manage? Sales through the distribution network. Who does the manager manage or should manage? Wholesale customers in the distribution network. And how does the manager manage? Nobody knows this! By and large, and in most companies, unfortunately, the NIKAK manager does not manage wholesale buyers. He works.
Why is this happening and how to make a manager a manager?
Let us now consider this issue. To do this, you need to look at the company's position in the market and what tasks the company sets for the manager. So, the company's position in the market. It's no secret that depending on the degree of maturity, any company uses either the PUSH (push) or PULL (pull) strategy. The PUSH strategy is applied in a new or emerging market when a company is just entering the market. At this time, the main task of any company is its active development, “flooding” of its goods. Here all the methods and techniques are good. The main thing is to sell. No matter how many times and no matter to whom. It is important that goods are distributed in all cities and towns. This strategy has been the main one in the Russian market for over 25 years. At first there were not enough goods, and demand was huge, then the market began to rotate, and demand became somewhat less, but it was still quite high.
Today the situation has changed. Economic instability, terrorist threats, impoverishment of the population, and there has long been no shortage or commodity starvation. And what about wholesale companies? Have they changed their pushing strategy? It turns out - no, not changed. The main slogan and daily motto of the management of wholesale companies: "Sales at any cost!".
Such a policy leads to the following problems:
fines, deprementation, deprivation of bonuses and other severe penalties are applied to managers, up to dismissal for failure to fulfill the sales plan, therefore managers try to ship to each client to the maximum;
dealers and small customers are provided with exorbitant discounts and volume bonuses to increase shipments;
warehouses of customers who are prone to discounts and persuasion are overstocked;
successful and not overstocked wholesale customers no longer want to purchase goods without discounts and are waiting for the next markdown;
the company is experiencing a drop in sales and an increase in product balances even in a growing or vacant market;
the rotation of wholesale customers reaches maximum values, which means that the base of "sleeping" customers is also increasing;
accounts receivable is growing;
the sales process begins to depend on the "stars" - individual managers, leading the most stable customers;
the company becomes a "hostage" of the manager - a unique custodian of knowledge about the base of key customers.
It turns out a vicious circle. Sales, instead of growth, show a stable negative trend.
What to do? There is only one answer - to change the strategy of promoting the company on the market, but it’s too early to move on to the PULL stage. First, you need to make qualitative changes in sales technology - that is, the company must move from quantitative to qualitative market development. High-quality market development is to stabilize the sales territory and customer rotation. First you need to clearly understand that sales in the company will begin to grow when they begin to grow with your wholesale customers. But in this situation, the main function of the manager becomes clear - to manage wholesale customers.
Of course, before moving on to the motivation of the manager, aimed at increasing sales from customers, it is necessary to conduct analytical work. For example, to understand in which regions of Russia your products are already represented, and in which not yet. Assess the saturation level of each city or city with your goods, because no matter how much you motivate the sales manager, if the number of customers in the city is more than necessary for the development of the city, one or both, or even several wholesale buyers will always be dissatisfied with the level of sales and sooner or later leave company. It is also important to understand the points of sale where your wholesalers trade, to evaluate their price and product priorities. To formulate for the company a strategy of high-quality market development, expressing it not only in words, but also in specific monetary indicators. Clearly, this is a lot of work. But you will have to do it, either on your own, or with the help of consultants. Otherwise, the company has only one sad way out of the situation - slowly fading away.
Now let's try to understand what the manager’s functional is.
The main functional of the manager can be expressed in just a few processes:
Sales organization - as a rule, all tasks of a manager in terms of sales organization are reflected in the job description of the manager.
Sales support is already more complicated, here it is necessary to interact with customers, advise them on the benefits of goods, explain the rules and requirements of the company regarding shipments and returns, be interested in the sales of wholesale customers and help increase local sales.
Work with potential buyers - to perform this function, the company must provide the manager with all the necessary information and presentation materials (and if there are none, you will have to develop them). This is not about the presentation of goods, but about the presentation of the company and why the client should work with your company.
Sales monitoring - daily, weekly, monthly and systematic. Moreover, the manager needs to monitor not only the sales themselves, but also the level of product balances, leaders and outsiders of sales for each specific client
Analytical work is the direct responsibility of the manager. Unfortunately, in most companies, the manager’s analytical work takes place at the “client speaks” level. In order for there to be no doubt whether the client said something or not, in each company it is necessary to develop forms of management reports based on which you can understand the level of sales, customer satisfaction, degree of market coverage and other indicators.
Support for wholesale customers - simply put, training and supplying customers with advertising products, packaging materials, exchanging unsold goods or explaining working conditions with the company.
In any case, the main function of the manager is to create a positive image of the company with wholesalers by all actions. Unfortunately, this is precisely what managers often do.
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