Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lack of Sales Training Hurting Modular Home Factories

Modular home factories have only recently begun to see production lines running at anything near capacity but will it be short lived or will it continue upwards at a steady pace?

The answer to that question doesn’t rely on the number of homes needed to rebuild NJ or other region’s disaster hit housing. Sales are the engine that drives a modular home factory, not disasters. And sales can’t improve unless factory management and owners begin looking at their sales staff as the engine. Unfortunately very few do.

Many factories cut back on their force during the housing crash and either put them on a pure commission basis or let go a lot of experienced sales people in order to reduce payroll expenses.

If sales people aren’t performing, whose fault is it? Management hires or promotes Sales Managers who have never worked in this position before and then don’t offer any management training to help them to work efficiently with a sales staff.

New sales people are not educated in the factory’s history and product. It is assumed that if they want to ‘make money’, they will get off their butts and learn it on their own. That’s how we did it and by God, that’s how they should do it.

A seldom seen sight in many modular home factories
Even the experienced sales people at the factory have not been given the information needed to increase sales and bring in new builders. A lack of effective training by the Sales Manager is a common factor in poor sales and high turnover.

If sales people aren’t performing, then neither is the business. A properly trained modular home factory sales force will increase sales and builder satisfaction. The sad part in this process is that the Sales Manager doesn’t know how to train a sales staff. Many just bully or bluff their way along hoping that Sandy II will hit and more houses will be needed.

A confident sales staff will bring in more sales, more new builders eager to join the modular factory’s authorized sales team and less service issues. A confident sales staff wants to be observed making and closing sales. A confident sales force works together to make their factory the best.

This is one of the few industries where a sales person can be absolutely terrible at selling and when they are fired or quit; simply go to another factory that will welcome them with open arms without question. What does that say about us?

No wonder modular residential housing is only 2-4% of total house starts in the US. We are not training for success, we are not training at all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think continuous training is always important, there's nothing to be embarassed about if you need to brush up on the basics whether you've been somewhere for 6 months or 20 years.