Fred Pieplow

Is Your Sales Policy Holding You Back?

Sales is the lifeblood of your business. You probably have incentives and motivational programs in place to encourage your sales force to sell more of your product or service. Perhaps you invest in ongoing training and support.

But what if you have a sales policy in place that is actually hindering their ability to optimize sales? Try asking your sales people what is holding them back.  Some common responses are:

  1. Our minimum order quantity is too high
  2. It takes too long to approve the credit
  3. Our delivery times are too long
  4. Our product bundles do not meet customer needs

Remember, your sales force communicates regularly with your customers and potential customers, and their feedback is immensely valuable. Listen to their comments carefully, and change those policies that are more detrimental than beneficial. Your sales team will feel listened to and respected, fostering increased motivation and loyalty to your business, and your customers will recognize your responsiveness with increased purchasing.

Companies, like people, often function out of habit – they do things a certain way because that’s how it’s always been done. Question those habits from time to time – there may be a better way to do it! Do not let a simple policy decision made in a different economy hold you back today.  Dig into why those policies are what they are.  Check into options on how to accomplish the same (or nearly the same) objective, but eliminate the obstacles.

What policies or processes have you had in place for more than 2 years?  Markets change fast. Make sure you examine your policies and procedures on a regular basis, and when necessary, adapt to stay in front of the competition.

Article written by :
Fred Pieplow
Fred Pieplow is a business strategist who uses his talent for asking highly impactful questions to help businesses understand how each decision impacts their cash, the lifeblood of their company. He is passionate about uncovering hidden opportunities that create explosive business growth. In 2009 Fred was named a "Michigan Entrepreneur of Distinction" by Corp! Magazine.
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3 Responses to Is Your Sales Policy Holding You Back?

  1. Rodrigo Laddaga says:

    Great comment Fred! It is always a challenge to balance the needs and demands of the salesforce with the real things that a company can made in order to satisfy all customers demands. Some times the sale force Will try to get anything for te customers even if some demands could make loose money to the company. Lets remember the words of Henry Ford when he started to sell the T model “You can ask for any color for the car as long is color black” “If I asked customers what they wanted, they would answer a fast horse”

  2. Fred Pieplow says:

    Disruptive products and services always provide something the market did not even know they wanted – until the market saw it! For existing products,you need to make it easy for your customer to do business with you. Your sales people know what you do that makes it hard. Go improve it!

  3. Rodrigo Laddaga says:

    You are totally right Fred! I agree that you need to make easy your customers to do business with you. Just wanted to take in count that Sales people, by their nature, will tend to give the customer everything they asked and some times this can get into trouble to the whole company even at the point to start loosing money. I believe is important to always look for a balance, as somebody said onces: “Customer is the Kinb but not God”.

    I had the experience in my first company where in order to fulfill all demands of our principal customer (it represented 80% of our sales) we started to loose money “without notice it”. Then we changed our strategy, diversify our customer base in order to not depend on this customer. We even had to say no to some proyects with this customer once we analyze that we where loosing money because their demands. How ever, once you say “yes” to a customer demand, is very difficult to take that back.

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