Sales managers key to sales staff success

Jason Cannon March 7, 2013

Sales staff are generally only as effective as those who lead them, making an effective sales manager an integral part of a successful dealership.

While management styles differ from person to person, an intent focus on motivation and communication is fairly uniform.

Dennis Boswinkle, sales manager for Nashville, Tenn.-based Nacarato Volvo says he holds a sales meeting with his six-member sales staff every Monday at 8 a.m. “without fail,” which lasts approximately an hour.

“I ask them to come prepared with what they’re working on, who they’ve seen and the things they’ve got in the works,” he says.

Chris Marsh, sales manager for Massachusetts-based Tri-State Truck Center, says he prefers to forgo standard weekly sales meetings with his four-person staff in favor of daily follow-ups and a monthly meeting to review sales programs/industry news.

“I like to keep in touch with guys on daily basis,” he says. “If you’re in touch daily, there’s not a lot of point in sitting down once a week.”

Jason Cluck, store branch manager for Arrow Truck Sales in Atlanta, holds a sales meeting every Monday and Thursday, each lasting less than an hour.

The Monday meetings are generally for new business, to review new programs and new information.

Cluck says the Thursday meetings are often led by the sales staff as they review their calls, their sales and their prospects. The Thursday meeting, he says, has become a motivating tool.

“Most of your good salesmen are very competitive,” he says. “When we meet and talk about deals, if one guy has less than the others, that guy is going to get in gear. Everybody wants to be top dog in the office.”

Once per month, one of Nacarato’s vendors will join their meeting and spend approximately an hour with the sales crew after the 8 a.m. meeting has concluded.

Boswinkle – who says his leadership style is, “rah-rah, maybe a little bit” – will join his sales personnel on any call at their request, but likes giving his crew the space to do their jobs in their territories.

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