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Ian Stirling of Objectives Reached is a full paid up member of:


As a business advocate of the LEP, we can provide additional advice to clients with help from the monthly emails we receive containing useful information that can benefit companies across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Case Studies

Case Example  - ‘Sales Manager’


Company manufacturing Sheds and Outbuildings to DIY and Garden Centres.


The business can afford one sales person, with the help of the person in the office. Over the last four years, they have employed 9 people in this role, and are now advertising for a tenth. This role has, in the past, been advertised as both “Sales Person” and “Sales Manager”.


The job advertisement reads “Sales Person or ‘Sales Manager’ required by a well-respected manufacturer of sheds and outbuildings. Experience of selling to DIY and garden centres is an advantage. Good package for the right candidate, £25,000 plus bonuses and car allowance. No weekend work.”


They appoint a Sales Person who has sold to garages and local shops, has a good sales record (or so he says) but wants to move on, “so he is not just a sales person, but Senior Sales or a Sales Executive.” He is appointed as Deputy Sales Manager, on the understanding he will become the Sales Manager when he has gained some experience.


Day One: He is shown around the yard where the sheds are made. He is told about the customers, and what was wrong with the last ‘chap’ they had in this job. In the afternoon, he is left to look at the leaflets and order books in the office.


Day Two: He meets the owner, who is busy, as he has things that must be done. The Deputy Sales Manager says “I have been looking at the leaflets and they are out of date, the pictures are not of the sheds we sell, and the description of the roof is wrong. Also, the prices are just crossed out, and new ones written in over the top.” He is told that there is a camera in the office somewhere, and that the leaflets are on the computer. He is then told to just update them, and take the disk to the print shop on the corner, where they will print out 1,000 leaflets. He decides that he had better not tell them the website is much further out of date.


The budget for the Deputy Sales Manager is around £30,000 for the year, with £5,000 for advertising. The sales last year were £250,000, and the target £300,000. There is capacity to raise production from 625 sheds a year, to 750.


Objectives Reached would handle things differently


In the first week, the Objectives Reached Manager would analyse the sales, the customers, the sheds and the sales tools - if the information is not available, we will ask people and make some assumptions.  We would also start building a relationship with the person in the office and the rest of the team.


At the same time, a Call Specialist would make contact with all the key customers to see if they will place an order, what is outstanding and if we can be of further assistance.  They will follow-up every sales or point raised and would visit if it was felt to be beneficial and cost effective.  


The next week, we would at least maintain the sales orders to existing levels, the Call Specialist would continue speaking to customers and any leads that are found in the office.  Once this work has been completed, Cold Calling would begin and a list of potential customers would be created.  On the same theme of continuing the sales process, the Objectives Reached Manager would have the leaflets updated and small quantities produced digitally using other members of the team.


Over the coming weeks, the Call Specialist would focus on developing the sales with existing and new customers.  The Objectives Reached Manager would start looking at marketing, materials and potential customer lists, whilst reviewing other opportunities.  The skill is to look widely at the options and just select those that are likely to give a good return on investment.  


Would employing a weekend Sales Person, who would carry out ‘Advice Days’ at existing customer’s Garden Centres and DIY shops, help to increase sales and customer satisfaction?  Should the web site have a different name to protect the customers business whilst allowing the company to expand Direct Sales? Within a few weeks, they could be being sold on Amazon.co.uk.  Should the sales campaign aim to increase the number of outlets selling, or should it focus on increasing sales through the existing network.  Could the Objectives Reached Sales Team sell the products at events?  Are the business networks and listings being used, as these can be very cost effective - particularly if Objectives Reached is a member already and uses its contacts.  Should we spend time getting on approved Buyer’s Lists for local authorities.  Once the options have been collated with ‘for and against scores’, discussion can take place with the owners and others involved, to agree a way forward and set targets of the next 8 week period.  This would be followed by writing a straightforward sales campaign document for the 8 weeks and beyond.  The next stage would be to involve a team from Objectives Reached including the Call Specialist, Designer, Copy Writer, Web Developer, Lead Creator and Sales Closer and agree who will do each task by agreed dates.  We would create a cost effective and appropriate pack of sales literature, point of sales materials and carry out the sales campaign.  As the 8 weeks draw to a close, the company could decide whether to directly employ a sales person or continue with Objectives Reached.  In many cases, it will be both with the directly employed person being trained and motivated by Objectives Reached who would also carry out the marketing, PR and sales planning.

Case Example - Management

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