– As expert enumerates reasons salespersons underachieve
On 11 April 2016, staff of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited gathered at the conference centre of D’Palms Hotel, Airport Road, Ikeja for a two-day workshop, tagged ‘Leading and Managing Maydon Pharmaceuticals Sales Team for Result.’
In attendance at the workshop, conducted by Pharmanews-White Tulip Consulting, were sales managers, regional managers and the national sales manager.
Speaking on ‘Sales Management,’ Pharm. Tunde Oyeniran, chief operating officer of Pharmanews-White Tulip Consulting, disclosed that quite a number of sales representatives don’t like admitting that they find the job challenging.
“It is something we all know. Even Google, the almighty search engine, confirms that sales management is not fun. Otherwise how come we have zero matches any time we search for words like ‘I love being a sales manager ‘, ‘I like being a sales manager’, ‘I love sales management’ or ‘I want to be a sales manager?
“By contrast, search for the following topics and you’ll be surprised at the number of results: ‘I love Paris Hilton (25,400 matches), ‘I want to be rich’ (102,000 matches) and ‘I hate my boss’ (59,200 matches),” he observed.
The training expert praised the sales managers of Maydon Pharmaceuticals for setting a good example through their open-door policy towards their sales representatives.
“Being a sales manager is not about you anymore. The day you become a manager, it becomes about them. Your job is to walk around with a can of water in one hand and some fertilizer in the other. When the reps are not making the numbers, the responsibility for ensuring that every member of the sales team is successful and performing at optimum levels lies entirely with management,” he stressed.
Oyeniran further explained that when a salesperson is underachieving, sales managers certainly have reasons to be worried.
“Cases like this tend to throw up questions like: Are they visiting and talking to enough prospects? Are they talking to the right people within the organisations? Are they able to penetrate the formal DMU (Decision Making Unit) and get to the MAN?” he noted
The pharmacist-cum-trainer enumerated eight reasons why sales people fail. According to him, the first mistake sales managers make is picking the wrong person for the position though a wrong or no selection process.
“Two, it is possible the sales people had little or no training at all. Three, the representatives were probably expected to do all of their own planning. Again, there is this mistake of leaving them without competent supervision.”
Continuing, Oyeniran said, “Let us look away from the usual administrative error. We need to also find out if sales people are properly motivated to meet objectives. It is possible too that they are inadequately supported by a competent manager, not stimulated by appropriate incentives and not regularly appraised against a set of agreed objectives.”
As a lasting solution to ensuring pro-active attention from sales people in various regions, Oyeniran counselled that managers must continue to meet with each person on the sales team to gather some “emotional intelligence (EI).”
The trainer further suggested that sales managers should also go on sales calls with members of their team and with a view to constructively critiquing their sales pitch later.
Oyeniran also stressed the importance of being sensitive to the personal and professional needs of salespersons as this is the most effective way to motivate and get the best out of them.
“Treat the people below you like kings and queens because they are doing the hard work. Be the person they want to come to with questions and problems. Realize that a salesperson’s problem is your problem.
“Train your team constantly and review team goals regularly. Always maintain your personal integrity. As a manager, teach self-sufficiency, resourcefulness and be ready to take bullets for the team,” he urged.
Quoting the popular maxim of Socrates, the pharmacist said, “A group of donkeys led by a lion can certainly defeat a group of lions led by a donkey.”
Maydon is a forefront pharmaceutical company in Nigeria. Incorporated in 1994, its main operations started in June 2006 shortly after registering with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). Since then, the company has continued to meet the health care needs of the people through its several NAFDAC-registered, commerce-and-industry-mediated and WHO-certified pharmaceutical products.
Currently, Maydon Pharma has over 74 registered products as well as over 40 staff across Nigeria.