Toni Smith is sales operations director at First Complete
For most brokers, sales are naturally your key driver and growing your business by making more sales and employing more sales staff is the natural progression of this; but how robust is your process for managing your staff and documenting procedures and where do you go for help to make sure you are doing it correctly?
The chances are you’re pretty good at managing your sales staff but finding it much more challenging to manage the support staff that you need as a natural consequence of running a larger business.
The MMR when it comes in next April will require you to document many more of your processes in order to stay on the right side of the regulation. It is also likely that a knock on from this is that you will need to spend longer with each customer; but in order that you can continue selling and keep your sales volumes up it is likely that you will delegate at least some part of the MMR documentation to your support staff, be it a practice manager or your PA. Much of the onus will therefore fall on these support staff to clearly document your process with each client and maintain the records that are needed in order to keep you and your business compliant.
It is imperative therefore that you make sure that they know what is required of them and that they understand the importance of what they are doing to keep you safe. In order to ensure that they understand these extra responsibilities their responsibilities will need to be clearly documented and it will be important that you manage them properly with proper reviews and procedures in place to reward when they’ve done well but also disciplinary procedures if necessary. The last thing you need when you’re trying to grow your business and deal with new regulations is to struggle with underperforming staff – especially if it is going a bit pear shaped because you haven’t put the framework in place to manage them properly.
The question is where do you go to get this sort of support and is it something that it would be useful if your network provided it for you? Most brokers’ natural skill set will not necessarily be in managing support staff and for almost all of us it is something we need training and guidance in order to do it well, so where do we access that and is it something we should get from a network?
A good individual review process will ensure that your staff knows exactly what is required of them, they feel rewarded and appreciated and it will also help you to ensure that your staff are completely aligned with your business goals, objectives, values and ethos.