Collaborative Relationships With Your Product Support Team
Over 90% of annual machinery dealer unit sales this first year will be from current parts and service customers. This is an astonishing fact. Yet, countless sales teams have highly adversarial relationships with their service and parts counterparts.
If you find this situation in your new environment, you must make peace and do the simple things essential to your mutual success.
Suggestion Action: Visit with the service and parts managers at each location.
Ask: “What can we do in sales that would contribute most to your aftermarket success?”
Recommended Reading: In Dealer Development-OEM Regional Manager’s Guide by Walter J. McDonald, read “Dealer Product Support Performance- Triage,” pages 121-126. CAUTION: Do not use this information to berate or criticize your aftermarket managers. Use it constructively to ask how you can help them achieve these very challenging performance levels.
Supportive Relationships With Your Key Accounts
Let them know you love them. A surprising insight is that an A-B-C-D account classification by unit size repeatedly demonstrates that 80% of the total dealer business comes from the top two account classifications. Building and strengthening relationships with these key accounts is one of your top priorities.
Suggestion Action: Schedule visits to key accounts with the responsible field rep in the top two account categories. You should immediately see at least the top 24 – 26 customers. If you have a corporate Product Support Manager, bring him/her with you and your sales rep.
“What can we do to help improve your productivity?”
“What can we do to improve our overall service and support?”
Recommended Reading: In Dealer Development-OEM Regional Manager’s Guide, read “A/B Account Growth Focus,” pages 359-364.
Effective Leadership Relationships With Your Sales Team
Is your role going to be a coach and career developer or policeman? Even your top performers will benefit from supportive leadership.
Suggestion Action: Meet privately with each sales professional on your team.
Ask: “What can we do, other than lower prices, to help you become more successful in your territory?
Recommended Reading: In Dealer Development-OEM Regional Manager’s Guide, read “Dealer Sales Performance-Triage,” pages 113-120
Information Technology to Enhance Customer Intimacy
The typical machinery dealer has only 10% of customer emails and less than 75% of customer phone numbers available for sales, service, and marketing programs. And, overall, 40% of customer information is wrong. Territory deal visibility is often less than 25%. To be successful, dealer customer information must be current, including emails and telephone numbers for all customer/prospect contacts.
Suggestion Action: Updated customer information is an essential sales asset and can easily be accomplished with a co-op student at a modest cost. Be sure to identify all customer contacts for new, used, rental as well as product support, with updated names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Recommended Reading: In Dealer Development-OEM Regional Manager’s Guide by Walter J. McDonald, read “Data Analytics for Sales and Marketing Strategy-Guiding Principles,” pages 162-165.
Empathetic Relationships With Dealer Ownership
What are their dreams, expectations, financial resources, and fears? It is essential for you in this new assignment to quickly develop a clear and accurate understanding of the expectations and priorities of your dealer executives.
Within your first 60-90 days you should prepare and present a formal “Situation Report” with your assessment of the major challenges and opportunities you identified in your earlier work with Product Support, Key Accounts, and your Sales Reps. Getting top management’s agreement on priorities will then enable you to make rational efforts to build Remedial Action Plans.
Recommended Reading: In Dealer Development-OEM Regional Manager’s Guide, read “The Dealer Principal Perspective,” pages 55-62.
Please contact me to discuss any of these steps. I look forward to being of assistance.