International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2012

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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SALES&MARKETING prospective player's talents and abilities before you add them to your team. In either case I would suggest trying to fi nd people better at the job of outside sales than you are. While that may be diffi cult to admit, your ego must take a back seat to your company's sales success. Training - Once you've selected your sales team's players the next step is train- ing. Regardless of their experience level you'll need to teach them about your products and company culture. If your organization is larger, having your more experienced sales people mentor more junior team members can be invalu- able, provided the person mentoring is rewarded accordingly. Some door dealers I've met think that once hired, all they need to do is give them product manuals, a company car and a laptop and point them in a direction to hit the streets. Big mistake. Just like you would not give your new football player shoulder pads and a helmet and throw him into the game, a new sales person needs training and resources to be a success. Resources - Your sales team players need resources to be successful. Don't skimp on these. If your company provides a vehicle, make it dependable, sharp looking and comfortable. Since an out- side sales person spends so much time behind the wheel, the car or truck should be a reliable tool that helps him or her sell. I am not suggesting extravagance but rather an effi cient vehicle that the sales person doesn't have to worry about. Among the other tools needed is a computer. In this time of instant, on- line access, successful sales people can generate a professional looking printed proposal while in the customer's home or business. Whether this is done with a laptop or iPad-type device, a way to electronically communicate with the customer on the spot is a must. Another important resource is the company's pricing structure. A consistent pricing policy will help your sales person and your bottom line. Whether you create a set retail price list or allow your sales reps to work pricing up on a per job basis, establishing fi rm cost of sales elements and profi t margin guidelines will help eliminate costly errors and profi t losses. But you must constantly communicate these policies and provide training as of- ten as needed. It's diffi cult to hold a sales person to a profi tability standard if they do not understand your expectations. Example: Fixed expenses (operations, offi ce, selling expenses etc.) Gross Margin Percentage Desired (sales minus material, labor freight etc.) Break even sales = $600,000 / .40 Net Profi t Desired Additional Sales Needed ($160,000 / .40) Annual Sales Budget Less: Cost of Sales Gross Profi t Less: Fixed Overhead Expenses Net Profi t $600,000 40% $1,500,000 $160,000 $400,000 Total Sales Needed ($1,500,000 + $400,000) $1,900,000 Proof: $1,900,000 $1,140,000 60.0% $ 760,000 40.0% $ 600,000 31.6% $ 160,000 8.4% As coach, in order to get the most from your players they must know that they can count on you to help them succeed. While the sales team player will need other resources including product manu- als, samples and access to manufactur- ers' online support, the most important resource the sales person needs is YOU. As coach, in order to get the most from your players they must know that they can count on you to help them succeed. Whether it is training, assisting with sales presentation preparation or dealing with a diffi cult customer, a good coach is always available to his or her players. Creating the Game Plan - As with a foot- ball team, your sales team needs a game plan. That starts with your company's profi t goals. An effective approach in establishing a sales goal is to fi rst establish the net profi t desired for the year. Once that amount is understood it is pretty easy to back into the sales volume needed to support that number. First, determine your break even point. To do this, divide your fi xed expenses (overhead) by the Continued on page 57 VOLUME 45 ISSUE 5 2012 55

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