Working with teams, I see a huge mix of styles. Some teams sell ‘full menu’ Some teams sell focus specific but still have a goal in the opposite area. Some teams are focus specific period. Should we or shouldn’t we seems to be the question. If you do sell focus specific, what are the pros and cons and who best suites what? What to do?
There are variables that help determine what direction you should go. Let’s look at some of them and see if there are better options to set your team up for success.
The size of the organization. If your sales department consists of 2 or 3 people, full menu is most likely your best option. Putting one person on season and 2 on groups doesn’t really spell success in the long run. Until the staff gets built up in numbers, it seems best for a small staff to talk to a client and fill what is best for them. Whether it be season, group or premium, it can be filled with your staff. Helping them set timelines and benchmarks will make it easier to achieve levels. Generally, a corporate partnership specific person works best along with the staff.
Reasoning for a multiple staff sales department to focus: In most teams I assess, a larger staff has much larger goals and will warrant a more detailed focus: season/premium and group/premium. The reason for this is two-fold: you have year round focus on one area rather than trying to juggle multiple goals (with multiple goals I often see one area fail over another, both areas fail or both achieve but culture is stressed and turnover is higher), and secondly you cater more to the sales reps strengths and set them up for success.
In a more focused sales, season reps can meet year round, have a greater opportunity to hit goal by the opening day of the season, then be able to spend the remainder of the season introducing new people to the product for the upcoming year. It also enables them to service their season members better and enables the season member to feel more valued. They no longer have to switch allegiances mid stream to start focusing on the group sale, and are able to cater to their newest season members as they should presenting the best experience and helping the value come alive, and now have time to foster new sales while in season.
Group reps have the luxury now of not stressing over hitting a season goal by opening day then going full force into groups, often feeling they are forever playing catch up. They are able to build large groups in the off-season, set target dates for kick off sales, own a city, focus on the months that certain sects buy, and be masters at their craft. They have time for fulfillment of the group sale, making sure it is executed well so the group has the best experience.
How do you select who sells what? Asking, of course, is one way. However, helping your staff make strong decisions is part of our job in coaching.
Staff members who love the thrill of an instant sale and moving on to the next are going to be more apt to like season sales. Those who like the process: the creating of the group, the steps to fulfillment, are going to be stellar group sales reps.
When we look at the 4 areas of strengths, more often than not it tells us where most people migrate. Strong relationship builders and influencers tend to focus more on season sales. Those who are more strategy minded and process oriented will focus more on the groups.
Whichever is chosen, setting them up for success is crucial.
Why premium with both? Both areas should also have the opportunity to sell hospitality areas. If season is already talking to execs in B2B, it is a natural progression to discuss the options of hospitality. If groups are talking to departments or HR in B2B as well as organizations and non profits, hospitality is another area to give added value to their outing. Having the tools in their toolbox will enable them to offer what makes the most sense at the time.
What are some thoughts that should go into creating a different structure? Is the staff currently hitting goals? If they are not, why? Is their focus too split? Do they need more coaching? Is the structure right or the philosophy wrong? Is the staff currently selling full menu and stressed? Is there a lot of turnover? Are our expectations realistic? Are they hitting goals but culture isn’t great?
Assessing where your team is and deciding what can best move the business forward is a great start to thinking about what your departments could look like. Keeping them the same because that is what you’ve always done is not necessarily the best reason, especially if there are still seats to fill. How can you best set up your team for success?
Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating (SOS)…Helping YOUR team achieve ‘2020’ vision!
Leadership training, sales training, team assessment and strategic planning: contact: email@example.com
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