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Sales to Customer service transition

I currently manage a team of 6 reps. 1 is not ever going to be the best at selling so we want to run a "Pilot" where she will be more involved with research and quoting while responsible for calling on her current customer base only. No new customers. How should I convey the change in role to the team without upsetting anyone? Thanks. - by Craigmax
I currently manage a team of 6 reps. 1 is not ever going to be the best at selling so we want to run a "Pilot" where she will be more involved with research and quoting while responsible for calling on her current customer base only. No new customers. How should I convey the change in role to the team without upsetting anyone? Thanks.
What is your prediction about who would be upset? The one rep you speak of? Or the other reps? - by Skip Anderson
The other team members are nosy as usual and will want to question another persons change in role. They may never verbalize it but it will be in the air. The one that is changing I have no worries about. - by Craigmax
Okay, Craigmax, thanks for the clarification. The answer might depend upon your management style.

Employees will determine if they're going to be "upset" or now, so that's really out of your control. What is in your control is how you want to handle the sharing of information about this new position with the rest of your group.

If you're a manager that's open to hearing employee's concerns or thoughts (even though sometimes they're wacky), then you could present this information at a meeting and then address any concerns that are voiced at that time.

If you're a manager who, for whatever reason, doesn't want to have this discussion publicly, you could send an email to the staff to announce the change, perhaps with the "please see me if you have questions" statement at the end.

I'm sure I don't understand all the nuances of your particular situation, but maybe these thoughts will help you out in some small way.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
Those are the two exact options I am between. Either public or private. I dont see it affecting relationships either way plus the benefits will be lighter workloads for all. - by Craigmax
Well Skip the plan has crashed and burned. The dept head that gave the directive quit and the owner was not aware the move was being made. I do have other issues though and I think I should detail them to paint a better picture. I have 5 female CSR's on my team. I am the only male. I was brought into the group as the supervisor replacing a female super who is now a manager over my team and 2 others. My challenge is that they have been coddled before I came into the group and of course I am bringing change at the directive of the owner. We all know any change brings resistance. I have had 3 clashes already as I do come off strong because I speak in business terms instead of gossip terms to get my point across. And they gossip quite a bit. Post clash relationships are much better. I figured they needed to happen to get it out of the way. With them being used to someone else managing the team I have a group challenge and an individual challenge. #1 has been with the company 15 years. Was formally in my position but was demoted. Works very hard and expects everyone else to work just as hard. That I can admire. Drawback is that exact character. She clearly displays and verbalizes her dissatisfaction when someone doesnt meet those expectations. She could be the model rep but... #2 has been with the company 9 years. Works hard but not smart which leads to heavy admin work behind orders cleaning them up. Quite brash with customers even rushing them off of the phone as she believes speed is everything. Has an excuse for everything. She received a documented warning because of it this week. #3 has been with us 1 year. Very defensive and moody. Clearly displays it. Complains if someelse gets credit for any work she does and clearly verbalizes others mistakes. Not willing to be consistent with making sales calls which keeps her numbers low. There is an excuse for everything with her too. #4 I dont worry about because she has made it clear there is no changing her. #5 is the hungry go getter. My only issue is her sales calls. My supervisor says they are still warming up to me. I came to the team in June. I need a management approach to get the whole team on the same page to develop some consistency in our sales and our interpersonal chemistry. So I'm so long winded but its the only way to detail the situation. - by Craigmax
That's a very complete description of your situation, Craigmax.

It sounds like you need a starting point. It sounds like most everybody is resisting change, but you need to change things. So the question is, "where do I start?"

It would probably be prudent to focus on your relationship with your manager and either get him/her to set out a plan for you, or you set out a plan to him/her and get their approval, then move forward in it. It sounds like everyone is just treading water, but you need (and it sounds like you want) to take action. But it's hard to know where to start...

A basic question for your boss is: "To what degree do you want me to change up things in my department?" or "To what degree do you think I need to change up things in my department to meet my goals?" - by Skip Anderson
Good question. I did ask and her approach is very soft which takes much longer to get reactions from. It conflicts directly with what the owner is stressing: Results now. A few people have been let go recently because of their performance and I'd hate to see 1 from my team become a casualty. But it would be at their reluctance to speed up production and effort. - by Craigmax
That's a very complete description of your situation, Craigmax.

It sounds like you need a starting point. It sounds like most everybody is resisting change, but you need to change things. So the question is, "where do I start?"

It would probably be prudent to focus on your relationship with your manager and either get him/her to set out a plan for you, or you set out a plan to him/her and get their approval, then move forward in it. It sounds like everyone is just treading water, but you need (and it sounds like you want) to take action. But it's hard to know where to start...

A basic question for your boss is: "To what degree do you want me to change up things in my department?" or "To what degree do you think I need to change up things in my department to meet my goals?"
So is the essence of your challenge that your boss and you are not on the same page as to how to proceed? - by Skip Anderson
True. Combined with her leaving for maternity leave in 2-3 weeks and directives from this mornings meeting with the big man, much needs to be clarified. We will be hashing it out tomorrow morning to start. As I suspected serious accountability and driving production was the hot topic today. - by Craigmax
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