Does your business involve one person selling the job and others installing the job? Fair enough. It is a functional, typical approach that can result in the right people doing the right things for your customers. It also results in a natural dynamic between the install team and the sales team. That dynamic can be powerful and positive. Or, it can drive you nuts with constant infighting. Let’s explore how to convert the inevitable conflicts from blame to cooperation.
“Dad likes you best.”
Consider your own background and experiences. If you came up the ranks as a salesperson, you may be prejudiced towards your sales team. And vice versa, if you cut your career teeth as an Installer. Meet with your managers to verbalize and understand the dynamics between the departments. A few ‘ride-alongs’ with team members in both departments can help you build bipartisan support for smoothing out the rough spots in communication and operations.
Hold a Weekly “Get it Done” Meeting
Every Friday, get together with the sales manager, install manager, salespeople, installers and dispatchers for a one hour meeting. Use place cards and have different people sit next to each other every week. Establish a safe, blame-free zone in which you can brag on a job well done and fess up about dropping the ball.
Discuss the following:
- Jobs being bid. This gives the team a sense of the action coming up.On big, complicated or “weird” jobs, have the salespeople get input from the installers before the bid is submitted.
- Jobs in process. What can we do to eliminate extra trips? Any ideas for bringing a troublesome job in on time? Are any change orders needed? Any surprises, good or bad, that we should know about?
- Jobs completed. Do a post mortem on the losing jobs. Share thoughts about what you can do to prevent a similar job from going south in the future. Celebrate wins for bringing the job in at or below bid. Deliver installer bonus checks as earned. Hoot and holler!
- Plan install jobs scheduled for the upcoming week. Assign jobs to the lead installer. Share real numbers for labor hours and material costs bid. The lead installer is responsible for managing the job for success and will report in on it moving forward. The person who sold the job will back him up and communicate with the customer.
- “Time out” anyone who wants to engage you with undermining after-the-meeting chatter. Bring up beefs in the meeting or privately with all appropriate parties.
Hold a Daily “What’s Happening” Meeting
Have a standing 10-minute meeting every morning. This is your chance to change the plan as needed. Invite the same players as attend the “Get it Done” meeting.
Discuss the following:
- Weather and other late breaking news. Any issues that will impact the team and the customers and the job sites?
- Is what’s needed here and staged or scheduled for on the job delivery? Don’t go if you don’t have what you need.
- Team Assignments. Who is going with whom? Who is the in-charge? What’s the intention for today’s job? Clarify the expectations.
Leverage the natural dynamic energy of install versus service to create a really rockin’ business.
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