DrewnoPark and DrewnoStyl are both companies with more than 10 years of experience on the market. This means that you have a strong position and lots of satisfied clients. What is your recipe for effectively managing a team of sales specialists?
To answer your question precisely, I first need to refer to your statement about our strong position on the market. It’s true that we are currently the strongest enterprise in Poland in the wood sector. However, the result of our company is a product of not only the work of sales specialists. Other factors are important, too. There is no one, universally effective recipe for managing a team of sales specialists. Definitely, an employee needs to fit in the company. Our team is composed of four sales specialists. Before they joined our company, they worked in this position in other companies. They spent two or three years there, gained confidence, learned more about the subject, and then came to us. Today, they have been working for us for five to seven years and they are happy. I think that proper monitoring of effects, drawing conclusions, and talking to employees are very important factors in ensuring good cooperation.
What is the difference between your company and your competitors that makes your employees stay with you for longer?
In spite of the fact that we are a family company, we often work with people from outside the family. This does not change the fact that both these relations work in the same way. We have an individual approach to every employee. There are various situations in life, some of which are not easy. But our employees are aware that every problem can be solved. In our company, we follow the rule that even the busiest president or director has time for every employee. We are very open to the problems of others and ready to stay in touch with them. Internal communication needs to be clear; this makes it healthy and makes employees want to stay with the company.
Do you use motivation systems? If so, are they effective and do they translate to bigger motivation and involvement of the employees?
We operate in the commercial sector and the specificity of our transactions means that we not only have to sell, but also make sure that we receive payment on time. Our employees know that they will earn only when they have caused the client to transfer the money to our bank account. Then they receive a bonus, depending on the amount of the value of the goods sold. What’s important is that every employee knows the rules of the motivation system and knows what effects he needs to produce to get the bonus.
Do such motivation programmes boost the employees’ motivation?
At the my previous company, there were over 100 sales specialists and I noticed that different motivation systems worked with different people. It was very difficult to create a uniform system of bonuses. Now, when I have four employees, I know that the system may actually work since it was selected to suit individual needs.
What would you recommend to small and medium companies that are starting to operate on the market? What to do to achieve success?
Small and medium companies employee between several and a dozen or so representatives or employees. In this type of environment, it is important that the employee feels that he is an important part of the company. Unfortunately, this often remains just a slogan with no actions following. In such case, it is the manager or the owner who is the most important person in the company. The employee is told that he is ‘an extension of the company in the field’, but this often isn’t true and his comments and observations are ignored. The simple rule is that when you need a motivated person, make him feel that he is an important link in the organization, like a member of a family. Listen to his comments, let him know that his work affect the way the company works. Give him tasks that are seemingly reserved for managers – this will expand his competences and give him confidence. Provoke him to create a motivation system that is based on more than just the wish to make more money. Another important aspect is not to define the frames of the motivation system: do not show the borderline, do not impose limits. This clips people’s wings. You need to remember that there is no one recipe for success. There are many roads that lead to it.
Andrzej Ogórek, Commercial Director, DREWNOSTYL, DREWNOPARK
A graduate of the Wrocław University of Economics. He has nine years of experience as a manager at a pharmaceutical company, three years of experience as a sanatorium manager (managerial contract) and four years of experience as a manager at DREWNOSTYL (managerial contract).
A former professional sportsman competing in athletics, winning a number of medals in Polish championships. Today, as the president and a coach, he helps to run a football academy and the LUKAM SKOCZÓW football club for the children from the Cieszyn district.