The best way to manage a sales manager is to give them all the tools they need to be successful and leave them alone for the most part. Since most of their compensation is commission-based, they really are motivated to sell and sell a lot.
This week I met with Jane Richards, who is the Tournament Sales Director at Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas. We reviewed the overall sales process and the EAGLE sales structure as it relates to all clubs within our company opposed to just one club individually.
I have always heard that if you want to know about anything going on at a particular club, you call the sales manager. Usually, whether they know you or not, they will be happy to rattle off all sorts of information. Whenever I am seeking a reference about an employee, I always call the sales manager at their previous club and I get to hear all sorts of stories about the candidate.
When looking at club management on the whole, catering and event sales are my biggest strength. I really enjoy the process of creating the marketing materials, giving the club tours, closing the sale and planning the event to its execution.
With that said, I would guess that most sales people are very competitive with either a neighboring venue or with themselves looking at the sales history from previous years. My personal sales motto is “More and Better.” I have always wanted more sales and better sales. If we do 80 weddings this year, I work to complete 90 next year and so on.
As a sales manager, I would say the best way to manage one would be to give them all the tools they need to be successful and leave them alone for the most part. A good sales manager is self-motivated and does not need anyone to be their cheerleader saying, “You can do it! We know you can.” Since most of their compensation is commission-based, they really are motivated to sell and sell a lot. With that said, if they have a really good week or month they want to be told how wonderful they are.
As a General Manager, I would want to have a good idea about where the club is forecast to finish in the upcoming months and what we can do to increase revenue in the months that there is going to be a shortfall. I try to look at the budget as a whole for the entire year rather than focusing on month-to-month. Most years are up and down—you may have a great March but a weak April. For example, if you are over by $15,000 in March and short $12,000 in April, you could look at the “Big Picture” and see with the two months combined, you are still $3,000 ahead of budget.
When I am General Manager, I want to have the best sales manager I can possibly get and provide them with all the tools necessary to get the job done. Work is much more fun when you are making money instead of losing it. I want to be able to step in to give a tour or provide menus if needed, but allow the sales a manger to own that department and encourage then to operate it as their own little business. That sounds like a winning environment as well as a successful formula to me.