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Collaborative Sales Management

Andrew’s McCann’s professional objectives as a Director are refreshingly clear – to adopt a sales strategy guaranteed to deliver his clients the most sophisticated and successful approach to selling property available in the market. Within the Jellis Craig office in Armadale, Victoria, he manages a team of 36 sales agents ranging from business partners to personal/sales assistants. Samantha McLean from Elite Agent Magazine spoke to Andrew about his collaborative approach to sales management; an approach that sets his high performing team way apart from the competition.

Andrew, what is your general approach to managing such a large and diverse team?
I believe ‘sales management’ needs to be on a case-by-case basis, one size does not fit all, and definitely not based on weekly meetings. In fact, with my top performers, I tend to stay out of their way so that they can get about their business. I do offer all of my team ‘support management’. If, at any stage, they want to talk about some dialog around a situation or a potentially challenging listing or negotiation, I’m there for them.

Do you set KPI’s individually, or as a group?
We ask all of our sales people to write a business plan, which is geared around their projected income and personal goals; what they need to do in terms of sales numbers to achieve that goal, what type of profile they’re looking to achieve over a 12-month window. We also get them to articulate some of their longer-term business goals.

We don’t manage KPIs for everyone, but I do facilitate a couple of different accountability programs across smaller groups. So, for people who like accountability, I’m available. I meet with two separate groups of four people who are looking for a weekly check-in, update, or “What am I missing?” I think about how I can assist them in terms of whether it’s core numbers, talking to the right people, or time management.

I look at each individual as a ‘business within a business’ and offer them, as I said, mentoring when required. But basically, I try and stay out of people’s way! I think that too many meetings and KPI’s can sometimes get in the way of actual productivity, but for those people who have needs around organisation – for example if they have great skills in the market, but don’t have great skills in the office – then I will support them in the office.

You don’t have formal sales meetings, how often do you catch up?
We set a plan annually, and then I meet with the individual quarterly to complete ‘check-ins’ and see where they’re at in their budget against their goals, and whether those goals are still realistic goals.

We also look at individual training needs; for example, if they’re really organised but are lacking skills in the market, then we would do training and support around, say, scripts and dialogs.

We also run group weekly training sessions, which I facilitate. There’s a training program every Friday in relation to scripts and dialogs, role-plays, and market news and those types of things.

Could you tell me a bit more about how these sessions are run?
Training is not ‘compulsory’ in our company. Again, we form the view that if you’re progressive and you want to be good, then you should be coming, but you don’t have to. So, we get about 85 per cent attendance, but we don’t necessarily get everyone. Of the ones that do come along, they are there for a reason. They are there because they want to be.

We plan our training program on a quarterly basis. At the moment, because it’s the New Year, we’ve been working on the listing process. Last week, we had a presentation from one of our best to take us through how they approach their listings. Next week, we’ll follow that up, and work on breaking  into smaller groups and have the team practice their skills with each other.

We’re lucky to be part of a big organisation. The Jellis Craig group has 14 offices. I am conscious that people do like to hear from other people and not just me all the time! So I do call on some of the top operators from other offices within our network. We also try to get a guest speaker in once a month. I think that sometimes if you hear it from one person all the time, it can become boring and monotonous — and sometimes you don’t take it in. Whereas if it’s either endorsed, or you hear it from someone fresh and someone new, it can be more relevant.  Next

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.