Everyone is in sales. What does this mean?
You may work in research and development, or in finance, or in technology, or perhaps in human resources. Your job title might even refer to serving the customer.
The real fact of today’s complex and turbulent world of products and services, solutions, and continuous change is that all must be customer-centric in approaching their jobs. Complex times call for complex solutions. As change affects your world and that of your customers, they need you to be responsive to their ever-changing needs.
I'm not a big fan of copying others, but when we look at what world leading sales organisations are doing and how they attack new business, we can surely learn from these giants!
A virtual partnership must evolve that includes your customer and everyone in your organisation. It is not enough for just your sales professionals to have this relationship. This implies that everyone in your organisation understands the customer and what will incentivise that customer to continue to buy your products and services. That means that everyone is in sales: senior management, who must invest necessary dollars in customer-centric programming; senior sales leaders, who must invest time and commitment to sales professionals; sales professionals, who must invest their energy and commitment to developing their sales skills and expertise; and all other members of your organization, who must understand the sales workflow and customer needs in that process.
Creating a Sales Culture Environment
Creating this environment drives results from within the company. Everyone focuses first and foremost on the customer as driven by a vital and dynamic sales engine, which is made up of strategically motivated and compensated sales professionals, a “we” versus “them” mindset, and low sales force turnover.
Creating this customer-centric sales culture is essential in maximizing your company’s success. An important aspect, we can all agree, of maximizing your success lies in sales professional measuring and meeting sales objectives. Tracking, measuring, and sharing sales results underlies this culture. Sharing tangible status and information, as well as interpreting it for all members of the organization, is very motivating. It also gives context for connecting individual activities to these objectives. It is these practices that set the tone for a sales culture. When employees in the organization understand that their activity might impact those metrics, it becomes clear that they must be customer-centric in their thinking. When the accounting personnel see that being creative on payment terms might impact a sale, they, too, become customer-centric in fulfilling their daily responsibilities.
Please note that a sales culture mentality is essential no matter the industry you are considering. Every enterprise and company has customers, sales professionals, internal service providers, and a need to work cohesively to bring these factions together for successful business results.
People who work together effectively tend to continuously satisfy each other’s needs and produce excellent results. These people must include all stakeholders throughout the organisation.
Customer satisfaction, a main economic indicator today, also happens in many ways. The customer experience comes to mind. Customers may love your product and its features, but they also might love that you are always ready to solve special situations or challenges when using your product.
If continuous billing problems arise, the customer might experience a level of frustration that supersedes a generally acceptable satisfaction level. So if everyone understands how each job contributes to a customer’s satisfaction, there will be less risk of losing that customer.
Knowing that You Have a Strong Sales Culture
So how do you know that you have a strong and vibrant sales culture? Indications of your strengths include many tangibles, such as stakeholder retention, super-engaged employees, new sales referrals, better-qualified sales professionals, and increasing revenue.
A sales culture is a decision from the top down. There are certain things you need to do in order to create a sales culture and these will deliver outstanding results.
Results of the sales culture
Once a company has explored and developed a sales culture, there is tremendous synergy among its employees. It is amazing how customer- centric thinking can establish a common direction and thought process that automatically underlies all activity. It also becomes apparent that all employees are aware of what it takes to close a sale, as well as the attributes needed to do so. All start to demonstrate sales skills and techniques in their internal and external interactions. A “How can I help?” mindset seems to proliferate the organisation.
Customers are understood. Their value to the company is also understood and job titles take a back seat to what you can contribute to the customer.
Educating the Client and the Client Educating You
Educating customers on industry trends, interesting facts, innovative ways to use your products, or how they can benefit from your products and services fosters a continuation and strengthening of the relationship with that customer. It is also an opportunity to help the customer understand some additional value of your products or services that might have gone unnoticed or been left out of previous conversations. This could lead to a new sale.
Being open to customer education allows you to help them change their “no” response to a sales proposal to “yes.” Their information gives you the ability to interpret and understand their obstacle in a way that directs your virtual team to remove it and consequently close the sale. This process happens often through the trusting relationship that virtual team members can build with customers.
Since 1985, Riaan has been in Corporate | B2B | High-level Sales and led teams to maximise performance. He provides strategic oversight and serves as executive sales coach and advisor to clients ranging from small, rapidly growing start-ups to well-established, large corporations.
His experience has allowed him to work with organisations and executives within entities such as Old Mutual, the Telecoms Industry, Siemens, Capgemini, Accenture, BWI in Hong Kong and many others, to help them improve sales performance.
As Keynote speaker, he address sales meetings and events on the world of sales, of what has changed and how organisations need to adapt in order to stay relevant and grow.
An integral part of his sales performance practice consists of interviews and implementation strategies from other world-renowned sales professionals and organisations.