on this business? Questions you should ask yourself for improving
• Do you want every order or every opportunity?
• What type of business do you want your folks to pursue?
• What type of business do you want them to avoid?
Planning and Preparation
Planning is the bridge between your dreams and reality. It is
creating the future in the present. It is anticipating the outcome
of your efforts and committing them to paper.
As the adage goes, “No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan.”
Planning and preparation equal twice the performance. Planning
is a confidence builder, and greater confidence leads to greater
competence. So think about this:
• How do you prepare your folks to sell value-added?
• Do your salespeople understand your value-added?
• Do they believe in your value-added?
• How effectively do they communicate your value-added to
• Have you provided sufficient training on value-added for your
• Do they understand the definable differences between your
company and the competition?
“No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan.”
Planning is a confidence builder, and greater con-
fidence leads to greater competence.
Coaching is the fundamental sales management activity. Coaches provide their team members with directions, guidance, and
feedback. They encourage performance and provide feedback.
Great coaches coach from the field, not the locker room.
Imagine operating in an environment where you receive no
direction or guidance or feedback on your performance. Imagine
an environment where the only feedback you receive is numerical.
Ask these questions about your coaching efforts:
• How much joint call work do you do with your folks?
• How are your ongoing communications with your folks about
their value-added sales efforts?
• Do you have frequent support meetings to discuss their sales
• Do you provide qualitative as well as quantitative feedback?
Your salespeople will look to you for guidance, inspiration, and
leadership. They will follow your example. As sales manager, you
must work as hard at creating the value-added sales culture as you
expect your salespeople to work at value-added selling.
Tom Reilly is a professional speaker and author of the book,
Value-added Selling. You may reach Tom at (636) 537-3360 or visit his