Igor Shokur

Sales & marketing manager
igor.shokur@mail.ru +380962944559

The business-plan «The Strategy of sales improvement»

«Strategic lapses can not be compensated by tactical successes"
Field Marshal Carl von Clausewitz

The Strategy`s goal:

  1. Overall sales growth.
  2. Gross income growth.
  3. Reducing the Sales activity cost.
  4. Decline the sales dependence of human factor: maximum formalization of sales managers functional responsibilities in necessary. We have to write out the business - process clearly for implementation of each the main activity step-by-step. The more business process clarified and perfected, the lower its requirements to employees qualification.
  5. Seek for new (and perspective) sales areas by estimation of usual technical requirements in the considered market area and its comparison with the real abilities of our products.

The Key measures for objectives achievement and problems solution

  1. System control of the work efficiency

1.1. Daily morning work meetings (20-30min.)
1.1.1. Analysis of the previous day results - using “MS Access” database.
1.1.2. The current planning. Identifying the managers who need for support.
1.1.3. Definition of intermediate checkpoints and their fulfillment scheduling and control.
1.1.4. Issues and questions with clients – and priorities of its decision.
1.1.5. Sales dynamics from the beginning of the month - and the expected sales until the end of the month.
1.1.6. “Waking up” the staff by setting short-term goals for a day.
1.1.7. Questions, suggestions, comments.
1.2. Establishment and development the commercial work statistics, using CRM-like system.
1.3. Monitoring and analysis of the sales volumes, both in monetary amount and in quantity / nomenclature of the paid goods.
1.4. Scheduling and monitoring the measures for the customer base expansion, control of the customers penetration statistics, starting from "cold calls" up to contractual payment receipt.

1.5. Quality control of sales process, and development, on the basis of such the control, a measures for improvement of managers qualifications. Development and providing trainings to improve sales effectiveness.

  1. Accounting the factors that have the greatest impact on the organizational structure of the sales department.
    2.1. High complexity of our products requires the sales staff to be an experts in electrical engineering. It is necessary to provide them all possible assistance and advisory support. The existing ban on direct contact between sales managers and technicians / designers is incorrect, as for me. Moreover, technical education (seminars, tranings providing, etc.) is very important. It is advisable even to hire a technical consultant of the sales department (some of experienced, but retired technical specialists could consult (advise) to sales managers for a small salary, as part-time jobs or even as a volunteer).
    2.2. Since none of the department employees not have professional education "Sales Manager", and self-education is also not given to everyone, it is necessary (by chief of sales department) to arrange a business trainings on proper sales techniques, for development of skills both technically and psychologically correct operation with customers, creating a positive cooperation atmosphere.
    2.3. Long sales cycle involves a large amount of routine work. So it makes sense a maximum formalization and partial delegation of formalized functions to assistants - let's call them "specialists" to avoid the pejorative sense of the word "assistant". Besides saving of salary fund, the introduction of "specialists" staff level will grow your talent pool. Currently, managers are reluctant to share information and train newcomers. Wanting to throw off some of the work, the managers, on the contrary, will be willing to train "specialists", their potential successors in the future.
    2.4. Large variation in volumes of potential deals requires either even distribution of orders and customers between managers (large and small equally), or differentiated motivation. Two managers can not earn the same bonus from the sales amount, if the first sales amount is achieved by 2-3 (or even one) of big deals per month, and another the same volume is achieved through a large number of sales a small, low-cost products.
    2.5. Strong reliance of constant, major customers confirms the necessary of separate Key-Account Managers allocation for their service. At the same time, because of necessary to conclude the most major contracts on the most favorable conditions requires to ensure the highest level of the final negotiations with all key and potential major customers. Key-Account Manager can arrange all the preparatory work, however, "final boosting" of the deal should be made by "Chief caliber" persons - the Sales Director, the Commercial Director, and in the most important cases - perhaps the President. Hence Clause 2.6 .:
    2.6. In order to increase status level of a key negotiations, it is advisable to rename the position of "Head of Sales department" to the position of "Sales Director" (maybe "Sales & Marketing Director"). A client does not need to know that the Sales Director is subject to commercial director - high "titles" on the business card will help to negotiate "on an equal footing," even to the highest level management.
    2.7. To achieve the objective №5, introduction of "sales marketer" position is proposed. The marketers salary should be at the level of sales manager, and even higher. The duties includes:
    2.7.1. actual search (creation) of new sales sectors;
    2.7.2. analysis of the customers property structure;
    2.7.3. monitoring a changes in the international trade legislation and customs taxes;
    2.7.4. keeping in touch with technicians / designers, to propose establishment / manufacture of some new and salable products;
    2.8. The distribution of the sales process between managers on the basis of equipment specialization (transformers, reactors or cabinet equip.) is too questionable, because one client can run in parallel with a several managers, each in its headings, which is unlikely appropriate. The organizational structure of the company is a direct tool for achieving its strategic objectives. Accordingly, the sales structure is a direct reflection of the marketing strategy. To win the competition, we need to concentrate yourself on the most promising segments. Focus efforts can take place:
    • By total sales volume         YES
    • By cooperation level          YES
    • By sales regions                YES
    • By promotion channels        NO (one channel only)
    • By single-sale amount         NO (just total amount is important)
    • By the sold equipment         NO (one client can take different equipment).

The territorial sign looks like the most suitable to these criterias, simple, and therefore controllable and administrable, with highlighting the most important customers in a special core groups, served by Key-Account Managers.

  1. Forming and maintaining an informal relationships with clients. We have:
    • To know the important dates for client`s key (decision-making) persons: personal (as ideal – closest relatives) birthdays, and knowing their interests – to congratulate with individual approach.
    • To greet customers with general and professional holidays and to provide token attention signs at every opportunity;
    • To increase the number and diversity of presentation materials, with dividing the materials for groups: for VIP clients (something special and individual), for important clients, for everyone who cares.
    • To invite our customers to any exhibitions and other events with our participation.
  1. Ordering of sales business processes. It is necessary to consider and prescribe the necessary strategic positions and to implement the set of documents that will clearly set goals, monitor their implementation and objectively evaluate the results.
    • The job descriptions creation, approval and making available to all the staff;
    • Creation the detailed descriptions of business processes and sub-processes;
    • Breaking the sales business process to maximum possible number of small acts/operations, and selection from the list of them the operations do not require high qualifications and skills of a sales manager, for example:
      • Search for new customers, drawing up (updating) of clients database, "cold" calls (the executive level: a sales specialist)
      • Sales itself, i.e. individual work with clients, identifying their needs, special requirements, the formation of commercial offers, preparation of data for the official contract and for the motivation, if any (the executive level: a sales manager);
      • Deals (transactions) documentation, invoicing, payment control, shipping arrangement (the executive level: a secretary-clerk)
      • Note: Recruitment for the positions "specialist" and "clerk" we can start gradually. For example, we can take professional help for the most experienced managers, as a "reward" for their high sales performance. So we kill 2 birds with one stone: to unload the best managers, give them the opportunity to use the potential more fully, and at the same time, to "attach" beginners to the most experienced managers and thus make the personnel reserve learning process more effective.
      • Transferring performance of the more simple functions of the business process from managers to sales specialists and clerical workers does not mean that managers are not required to monitor and, if necessary, to be able to perform the functions of lower-level professionals independently. 
  • Study, in collaboration with other parts (departments, services) of the plant, the communicative business process in matters that requires for mutual cooperation of all the services. First of all it means:
    • control of shipment in compliance with contractual terms;
    • coordination of transport requirements in case of EXW delivery;
    • coordination with the designers and technologists all the clients technical requirements at the stage of signing the contract, etc.

5. Creation the staff motivation system.
5.1. Managers motivating system should depend not only on the sales volume for the period, but also of the gross profit on such sales. It does not take a lot of professionality, to offer a customers the price-list, and then to expect them for decision (negative, as a rule). It is also easy just to offer deliberately low price and sell products with a minimum profit. So, the managers bonus must depend not on the ability of just selling the goods at any price, but of ability to sell at the highest possible price in the given circumstances.

5.2. The differentiated motivation (see p.2.4.) can be based, for example, on a difference:

  • If a manager "sits" on the "clients base" accumulated before, serves the customers who has been attracted a long time ago, and simply sells (it means selling to customers who need your products in advance, at a price that suits them in advance) - such a work does not deserve any extra bonus.
  • If a large part of managers work took an active sales, i.e. attraction a new customers and/or enticement customers from competitors - such a work must be worthily estimated.
  • At the same time, the loss of existing customer and its escape to competitors should be considered as an emergency case with the relevant penalties to the guilty manager.

5.3. Sales specialists motivation should depend on the number of updated customers in the customers database and the number of "cold" calls. Quality of updating clients in the database can be estimated by the managers, who use this database. At the same time the criteria by which customers recognize "attracted" and "promising" must also be clearly stated in the relevant regulations, as well as sources and methods of obtaining the desired information.

5.4. Clerks motivation should depend on the number of prepared contracts, billed invoices, etc., which could easily calculated when CRM system implementing.
5.5. Analyst motivation - it is difficult as a subject the quantitative assessment, it is probably a high salary, bonuses, the decision on which might be taken by Sales Director, Commercial Director or President, plus intangible incentives such as public recognition and evaluation of the performed works and generated ideas.

 

  1. The main issues of the Sales Department and their solution using the offered Strategy measures:
  • The Issue: Sales managers are too unique staff.
  • The Solution: While the business process divided for a parts and shared between a staff, the need for "unique", "brilliant" sales managers should be significantly reduced.
  • The Issue: sales managers activity is difficult to regulate and it strongly depends on personal abilities.
  • The Solution: well-built business process, its formalization and dividing of operations contributes to easier regulation and accountability of managers and the entire department.
  • The Issue: If your sales manager dismissing - some customers goes away too quite often, and a gap in sales appears.
  • The Solution: because the database of each manager is in operation for at least another two employees - a specialist and a clerk - withdrawal a customer is unlikely, and without customers the managers exit become less likely, too.
  • The Issue: It is difficult to find (or long to train) new employees. It is difficult to fire sales manager, because then you will not find another, which immediately turns to the work. It takes a lot of time while the new employee has mastered the range of business process and has begun to yield tangible results.
  • The Solution: Standing "personnel reserve" in the form of specialists and clerks, for which "transition" to manager position will only be an additional incentive to work. The search of candidates for the posts of specialists and clerks is much easier for HR department, and if recruited specialists will not show aptitude for sales - it is easier to give up of them without prejudice to the work of the department.
  • The Issue: If one manager sells more than any other - (s)he obtains a "star disease" and (s)he thinks that the entire department exists only because of (s)he.
  • The Solution: The sales process becomes a product of collective labor, and the "unique" role of even the better manager will be significantly reduced.
  • The Issue: Good managers ask for more salary, and "we do not need bad ones".
  • The Solution: The range of persons with a high salary is actually limited by the managers. Specialists and clerks have an incentive to monitor and develop their managers skills, while having significantly lower salary.
  • The Issue: Any, even the most skilled, manager spends a lot of working time for primitive, routine work.
  • The Solution: In the proposed sales structure, the managers should sell ONLY, not being distracted by the mechanical work, which significantly increases the positive feedback of the salary received by managers and allows 100% usage of their high qualification. At the same time, increasing the proportion of the actual managerial work in his work schedule, managers will ensure a better implementation of the Strategy goals №№1,2.
  • The Issue: Any reorganization of the sales leads to shocks, feverish work of the department, some dissidents appears, "silent sabotage" becomes possible.
  • The Solution: According to the proposed strategy, the reorganization may be executed in gradual, "creeping" way, specialists (clerks) can be hired one by one, attaching them to the most powerful managers and not disrupting the sales departments working rhythm. Important: Transition to spacialists even the weakest managers is absolutely contraindicated, it will lead to their full demotivating, especially if the final working terms have been clearly defined.

 

A common mistake when replacing the ТПЛ-10

This article is not written for designers, but for ordinary users (operational staff). In practice, we face often with such a problem like to replace current transformer  ТПЛ-10 (ТПЛМ-10) not passed metrological verification, or to perform other advises (most requirements) of energy-distribution companies related to the reduction of energy consumption by the consumer (such as a reduction in transformation ratio or an increase of the current transformer accuracy class).
Lets consider the case where current transformer of ТПЛ-10 type, Soviet-style, made usually in last century, 80-90th years, is a subject to replacement. The fact that  ТПЛ-10 was operated for a long time, talks about pretty well quality of a transformer, but this transformer still have a significant design flaws, the main one being - is an open magnetic circuit assembled from individual plates of electrotechnical steel. Because of this design feature it`s quite difficult to achieve a higher accuracy grade of the transformer and to protect the magnetic core from corrosion.
At the moment, current transformer ТПЛ-10 -type is not made and is not included to the СИТ Register (measuring devices). New ТПЛ-10 does not exist. Replacement is only possible on the transformers from storage, if they passed the last metrological verification or certification in metrological center.As a result, we obtain the replacement of the old transformer, which did not pass verification, for another old transformer, which passed verification. The question suggests itself: how long this transformer will meet to GOST? Before the next scheduled calibration, maybe if you're lucky, a bit longer, but anyway not for scheduled 25 years average lifespan.
Such replacement can without exaggeration be considered as a big mistake.
So, the ТПЛ-10 failed verification have to be replaced for what ?
"ELIZ" factory makes more perfect, with the best technical characteristics, corresponding to the last GOST, certified current transformers ТПЛ-Э-12-02 type, which dimensions and seatings are fully coincide with the dimensions and seats of ТПЛ-10.
These transformers are cast-type, ie all the elements of the transformer design, excluding outlet contacts, has no touch with atmospheric air, it`s not afraid of high humidity, which guarantees the service life of 25 years or more. Accuracy class of the transformers are standard - 0,5S, but at the request of the customer can be made current transformers with 0.2 and even 0,2S accuracy class, using of amorphous steel cores.

What is the partial discharge ?

The main cause of partial discharges in cast resin insulation is the presence of air bubbles in a hardened epoxy compound, as a consequence of non perfect manufacturing transformers process.

Partial discharges appears in the voids of solid (paper or plastic) insulation, in multi-layer systems of electrodes / conductors having a several layers of solid insulation and also in gas bubbles (in case of liquid insulation) or around the electrodes in the gas, and in most cases are air or oil gaps in the insulation.
The presence of partial discharges in the current and voltage transformers with cast insulation will eventually lead to the insulation breakdown, so the Partial discharge test can determine the reliability of the product over its entire life. Any other acceptance tests can determine specifications only at the moment, but just Partial discharge test allows to predict the stability of future performance and reliability of the product as a whole. That is why the Partial discharge testing is crucial.

As per GOST 7746-2003, used in Russia, determines the partial discharge level not more than 20pKl, measured at voltage 7,63kV. Ukrainian DSTU IEC 60044-1:2008 requires the same Partial discharge value at more voltage 8,32kV and additionally - at increased voltage 14,7kV - not more than 50 pKl. Thus, the requirements (and therefore quality) to be met by current (CT) and voltage (VT) transformers, manufactured in Ukraine is higher than CT and VT of Russian production.
However, if the transformers are manufactured in Russia are certified in Ukraine and are in СИТ register, they are considered to be compliant with the requirements of DSTU IEC 60044-1: 2008.

Marking of current transformers.

Current transformers, by installation way, are produced for indoor and outdoor electric installations, as well as built-in versions for power transformers and vacuum circuit breakers.
Current transformers are divided by installation way onto passing design, installed in the openings of walls, ceilings or switchgears metal fences, and supporting design, mounted on the supporting structures.

The current transformers are divided by design of primary winding:
- single-turn, rod-type with primary winding as linear rod with contact clips on the ends;
- single-turn, busbar-type, where busbars of electric installations are primary windings, passing while mounting through internal opening of the current transformers;
- multi-turn, loop-type, chain-type and coil-type.
Each type of current transformers have its literal & digital nominal designations:
Т — current transformer;

П — passing (absence of П letter means the transformer is supportive type);
В — embedded to a vacuum switch;
ВТ — embedded to a power transformer;
О — single-turn;
Л — with cast insulation;
Ш — busbar type;
М — compact (for current transformers for internal installation);
К — coil-type;
Ф — with porcelian insulation; ,
3 — for protection of short-circuit grounding;
У — enforced type (with increased electrodynamic resistance);
ФЗ — porcelian housing with link type primary winding;
Н — for outdoor installation;
Р — with core for relay protection;
Д — with secondary winding for feedinf the differential protection;
М — oil-immersed (current transformers for outdoor installation).
the first number after literal designation — the transformer`s rated voltage in kV;
the next group of numbers «through slash» — cores accuracy class (instead numbers, the letters Р or Д may be used);
two numbers «through slash» — primary and secondary currents;
the digit after the rated current — the design version;
the letter after the design version — climatic performance;
the last digit — accomodation category.