If you truly want to scale your lawn and landscape business, you must grow an effective sales team.
And to do that, you must become quite good at both marketing and sales management.
They don’t teach Sales Management at school or university – almost nowhere, really.
So, how do you learn to be a great sales manager?
Paul Reder, CEO of Reder Landscaping, knows the answer.
I have known and worked with Paul and his partners for about eight years now, and I have watched (and helped) them grow their business and business approach dramatically over the past decade.
Paul, who is a member of my community, volunteered to be interviewed for my recent podcast (coming out soon) and he shared his insights on becoming an excellent Sales Manager.
Here are seven takeaways that we covered (plus there are more in the podcast):
1. Become an encourager. Paul realized that being a transactional manager won’t cut it. (He is also the company’s CFO, which requires analytical thinking). Paul shifted to being more of an encouraging coach and his sales team grew and flourished.
2. Use incentives to break through your own thinking. He thought it might be possible for his salespeople to hit even higher sales goals. By being creative with his incentives, he found that his salespeople made immediate improvements of $100k-200k in sales from one year to the next.
3. Data is your friend. Paul changed his commission plan to tie into the profitability of the work as built. He had the data to back it up, so his sales team went along with the changes. Now, his salespeople and production people are tied in together.
4. High earners DON’T want ceilings. Paul discovered that he could attract the very best salespeople to his company by showing them how to earn large payouts, with no ceilings to what they can earn. The sky is the limit for the very best.
5. Salespeople like to sell. In the winter, Paul does not distract his dedicated salespeople with production (snow anyone?) and instead keeps them focused on initiatives focused on building marketing and sales. He doesn’t see a lot of snow, so it’s easy for him. Not every company can do this, but it is an interesting concept.
6. Become a marketing expert. If you want to grow your sales, you must provide the branding support and name recognition (and lead flow if you are doing residential work). Great salespeople want to work for great companies with great branding and marketing.
7. Operations must keep up. To scale your business with great salespeople you need scalable operations, which is what Paul’s two brothers, Mike and Dave, and their teams, provide. Great salespeople must believe in your operations.
It’s pretty clear if you want to scale your business, you must become a very good (if not great) sales manager.
- Someone needs to be the sales manager in your firm; not just a note-taker, but have good analytics, bring accountability as well as support, encouragement, and sales strategy.
- It takes personal effort and drive to learn sales management skills. Make it a personal learning goal.
- It requires the entire company to support and stand behind your salespeople. They need to “believe” in your operations 100% and if they do they will run through walls for you.