Entrepreneurial Growth Learning Module B

Sales Management and Customer/Client Relationships


Sales Planning

A sales plan, as defined by The Business Dictionary, is a plan containing an assessment of current sales for a product in a given region or market, a statement of sales objectives, strategies for achieving the stated sales objectives, and resources available for achieving this goal. A sales plan may also assign particular sales representatives or other staff to particular roles or territories, and may include a breakdown of who will focus improving sales for which product.


There are two basic parts of a sales plan:

1: New business acquisition strategies and tactics

2: Existing business growth strategies and tactics


Examples of business acquisition strategies and tactics:

Identifying Markets: customers may be acquired through both new and existing markets.

Developing Products: strategically developing products that are attractive to your target markets.

Branding: carfulling branding your product through advertising and marketing will help create a strong following, increase word of mouth, and assist in new customers trying a product.

Customer Service: create a positive experience for your customers through accurate  and honest information, high quality products, ease of purchase, and post sales care.

Examples of existing business growth strategies and tactics:

Market Penetration: trying to sell more of existing products through re design, packaging, and development.

Market Development: trying to find new markets to advertise existing products

Alternative Channels: exploring new ways to sell your products, for example web sales.

Joint Ventures and Partnerships: finding ways to create business relationships with other businesses and finding partners who may provide capital or guidance.

Production Increase and Development: creating more efficient production lines or increase ones fixed capacity.

The final step to the sales plans in implementation.  One should create a detailed yet flexible timeline in order to schedule and manage time appropriately.  Sales plans should be kept in an area so that it is easily accessible.  One should review, re evaluate, and change the sales plan as needed.  These documents are a living thing that grows, develops and changes with the business it compliments.


Controlling and Directing

Situational Leadership Theory and Employee Motivation

Situational leadership is a leadership style that has been developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Situational leadership is a theory that leaders must adjust their style to fit the development level of the group or individual.  The leaders must also be flexible and change their styles as the individual or group matures.

In a business context, if a manager or leader really wants to influence and motivate team members, they learn to employ situational leadership strategies to better connect, engage, and motivate the entire workforce.  So how do leaders help others motivate themselves?  Here are a few suggestions listed below.


1. Hire the right people.

“How can a company be sure it will survive—even thrive—in any economy? Its executives must hire “A-players”—employees who consistently deliver quality, innovation, and profits.”

Low Readiness level 1 (R1): Unwilling and unable

– The Individual lacks ability, commitment, and motivation. This level may also apply to a subordinate who is both unable and insecure, lacking the confidence to perform a task to standard.

Moderate Readiness level 2 (R2): Unable but willing

– The Individual lacks ability, but is motivated and makes an effort to accomplish the mission. The subordinate may also be unable but confident, as long as you are there to provide guidance.

Readiness level 3 (R3): Able but unwilling

– The Individual is able to perform the task, but is unwilling to use that ability. Or the Soldier is able but insecure—showing ability but acting apprehensive and insecure about taking the initiative.

High Readiness level 4 (R4): Able and willing

– Would that all platoons were full of R4s. This Soldier has the ability and commitment to perform the job. The Soldier is confident about completing the assignment.


2. Help them set goals.

– Connect employee goals to larger company goals

– Make sure goals are attainable but challenging

– Create a plan for success

– Monitor progress


3. Lead, don’t direct.

According to Hersey and Blanchard, there are four main leadership styles:

– Telling (S1) – Leaders tell their people what to do and how to do it.

– Selling (S2) – Leaders provide information and direction, but there’s more communication with followers. Leaders “sell” their message to get people on board.

– Participating (S3) – Leaders focus more on the relationship and less on direction. The leader works with the team, and shares decision-making responsibilities.

– Delegating (S4) – Leaders pass most of the responsibility onto the follower or group. The leaders still monitor progress, but they’re less involved in decisions.

Styles S1 and S2 are focused on getting the task done. Styles S3 and S4 are more concerned with developing team members’ abilities to work independently.


4. Reconsider commissions.

The Reinforcement theory proposes that you one change another person’s behavior by using positive and negative reinforcements. Rewards can be used to reinforce desired behaviors while punishments are used to discourage behaviors you do not want.

Positive and negative reinforcement can both be used in order to create a positive behavior. Leaders must learn to analyze a situation and determine the most effective styles of reinforcement.  Tangible rewards such as a bonus, gift, or financial rewards are examples of a few forms of positive reinforcement and can have immediate effects.  Other forms of positive reinforcement come from acknowledgment of a job well done, praise, and promotions.

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