Is the Sales culture visible in your business?

How OBVIOUS is it to your customers if your Sales Culture is right or wrong?

Sales in the culture of business is visible. And you’ve either got it or you haven’t.

It’s so important for the owner of a company to understand the customer experience of their company. 

I experienced both sides of the coin in one day.

I run an online group to help business owners with their sales mindset and help new sales professionals develop their skills. One of the members set up a direct debit as part of the sign up process and whatever they did, resulted in them paying twice.

I asked this company to issue a refund and I was told that I wasn’t important enough of a customer to automate a refund. I’d have to come up with a manual solution with my client.

I know about scale and big and small customers…but, seriously?! “You’re not important enough?!” 

Later that day, I got back to find an office chair I’d ordered had arrived…but there was a massive hole in the box. Just my luck, there were indeed bolts missing. Still reeling from my first experience of customer service, I picked up the phone with a sense of trepidation…

Well yep the bolts were missing and I didn’t have spares at home.

“Oh no thats terrible, so sorry to hear that.” Oh. “We will get you new chair tomorrow and I’ll make sure the delivery guy has all the paper work ready so he can take the old one home.”

I’m sure you’ve had that experience where you’ve turned to a friend or talked to your partner and said “Wow that was really good service, that was so easy to do.” You might not’ve said it like you were on a TV advert for Which? magazine, but it’ll have been along those lines. 

That customer experience was a consequence of a great Sales Culture. 

To understand the value in creating exceptional customer journeys, you need to understand your customer.

When you do that…you’ll sell more!

Conversely I bet you’ve also had the other side of that coin and experienced service where your experience as a customer was feeling like an irritation and the whole task of trying to buy something felt like organised torture.

Those are pretty good signs that Sales isn’t at the heart of a company’s culture.

Sales coaching quote

I mean…imagine working in that environment where management doesn’t care about your sales behaviours. If they don’t care, why the hell should their staff care? 

That root cause of not caring becomes so obvious because customers can see service, or a lack of it, in the behaviours of the sales assistant. 

The 1st Principle in the 5 Principles of Sales Excellence is 1st for a very specific reason.

That principle of Business Strategy helps test your motivation to put sales at the heart of your business strategy.

Why? Because by definition that puts the customer right at the heart of your business too!

You can measure customer experience through feedback. It’s tangible, and in many cases immediate. The key learning is the same reason that mystery shoppers are used. 

It’s so important for the owner of a company to understand what the customer experience of their company is. You can pinpoint any other shortcomings in your processes and address them, but if customer experience is an issue, it’d be like focusing on making sure your seatbelts and brakes work when your car is on fire. 

If you enjoyed this post please click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts

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Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

How to create a winning sales culture

How to Create a Winning Sales Culture

Creating a winning sales culture should not be that big a deal

Transforming an underperforming sales team into a well-oiled sales machine doesn’t happen by luck. 

Yet many companies try to grow sales by simply putting more pressure on the sales team, reminding them of their increasing quotas and adding up how much they’re behind. 

Companies invest a lot of time and money into better products or more marketing, which doesn’t hurt, but only further masks your true underlying sales problem. 

When you add to this the general poor standard of on boarding, the cost associated & time it takes to recruit getting the culture right from the off is by far the most cost effective & productive option.

Here are 10 key actions that I have experienced that will get your company on its way to creating a winning sales culture:

Follow your salespeople

The first thing I do when I take on work for a client is nothing but listening and watch the Sales Professionals & Sales processes in operation. I do this because in my view when it comes to why they aren’t producing, salespeople can rarely tell you but, they can show you.

Monitor daily activity

A mechanic wouldn’t look at your car and just tell you what was wrong with it; he’d check the engine & the electrics or hook it up to a machine to get readings. You have to do the same thing for your sales team. I advocate setting Sales Expectations these would be six to eight daily revenue producing activities that every Sales Professional is measured against. Whatever you choose is fine, but the data is essential for monitoring because numbers never lie.

Drive activity more than results

Sales is and always will be a numbers game. Whoever sees the most qualified amount of prospects in the shortest time has the best chance of winning. Salespeople have little control over who buys and who doesn’t, so spend more time pushing them to increase activity and results will increase as a byproduct.

Loose the bad apples

My experience tells me that the average sales manager knows whether or not a person is going to make it, yet it typically takes six to nine months to let that person go. Bad attitudes, low work ethic and people who undermine leadership are a virus to your sales team. The longer you let them stay around, the more it is costing your company and the more they are infecting those around them.

Learn to recognise success

Start recognising your top leaders & sales professionals more publicly. One of the fastest ways I get results for clients is by helping them create an incentive plan for driving activity. You can come up with fun affordable incentives that create an immediate spike in activity. Top producing sales professionals are a different breed and it’s amazing how far they’ll go to get a £50 iTunes card or get their name called in a team meeting.

Create a purpose

Sales professionals will give you more if you create a greater purpose

Selling is emotional. Selling takes energy. And many salespeople need to be sold on the greater good of what they’re doing. They need to understand that they are contributing to a bigger picture. You can even have them come up with their own purpose by just capturing their responses in a group setting to the questions “What do we believe in and why are we here?” Salespeople need vision and it’s the job of leadership to help that vision come alive.

Elevate the sales professional

Sales professionals are amazing. They are often among the highest income earners in your company & they should be. They battle doubt and rejection every single day. If you want them to produce you need to promote how important sales professionals are in your company. In your talk and actions, elevate the importance of the sales function to the other departments in your company. 

Invest in sales training

It’s your company’s job to give your sales professionals the tools and training they need to succeed in their position. Sales cultures have well-defined systems to help their salespeople grow, learn and achieve. This is especially important for new hires but you also need to have some way to deliver on-going advanced sales training ideas for your entire sales team. If you don’t think this is important, then determine how much it costs you on average to hire someone and multiply that by the number of salespeople who didn’t make it last year; you’ll quickly see it’s worth the investment.

Create more accountability

Most good sales professionals crave and welcome regular accountability. Spending regular one-on-one time with your people not only gives you a chance to mentor and train with them; it shows that what they do is important and that you care about their success. It also means you can create a bit of healthy tension as you push for results.

Create sales scripts

Most salespeople are far less technically proficient at selling than they think. They are reticent to call on new business because they aren’t good at it and they don’t know what to say. While they will complain about being forced to say word-for-word scripts, you must have them available and they must work.  A sales team without sales scripts is like a business without a business plan, it lacks focus and is inconsistent.

Going after these activities will have a significant positive impact on your sales culture & create more successful sales outcomes.

But maybe your still not sure how or where to start?

The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence can help you unlock your sales potential so, if you need help, or want to explore how Steve Knapp Sales can help you create a winning sales culture all we have to do is start the conversation. 

If you enjoyed this article please leave a COMMENT, click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network. Please also take some time to read some of my other recent posts.

3 approaches to become a great sales coach

3 Behaviours that win business

Social Media is Killing Networking

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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Use Recognition To Drives Sales Results

Recognition has a very significant place in the growth ambitions of any sales organisation.

Lets take at a look at some data points pertinent to recognition:

I have seen first hand the positive impact that recognition and reward has on the emotions, motivation and discretionary effort of Sales Professionals.

I have also seen the spiralling negative impact and the unintended consequences when this stuff goes wrong!

When you consider the impact on staff engagement, staff retention and the correlation to extra efforts its surprising that only 14% of organisations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition.

Here are the 5 key I consider have the most impact in connecting recognition to sales results:

Make it in the moment 

As much as possible, be timely. Catch people when they are doing great work and acknowledge their efforts.

Don’t be generic and don’t be to impulsive as just using “you’re doing a good job” does not count in most cases.

Be specific, descriptive and genuine.

Put it in context 

Recognition is most effective when it’s given in the context of a larger goal or business results focused activity.

Random acts are much less meaningful than those tied to a business goal.

An employee who lands a big deal by putting in the extra effort needs to know you noticed.

Make it appropriate in scale

Be consistent in your recognition.

Don’t be tempted to change just because this was the deal that got you over the line.

What about all the other deals that got you to the line?

Staff do build up recall of the scale and will consciously look for consistency.

Recognition should match effort and results, or it loses meaning.

Be authentic in delivery 

You have to mean it when you give employees recognition.

The personal touch is so important for the receiver of the recognition.

I mean, why go to all the trouble in designing & implementing a scheme to then leave the communication to an email?

If your in a different physical location why not record a video or use video conferencin?

It will mean so much more!

Find what your employee’s value 

People know when they’re valued, and they should have a good idea of their value to the organisation.

Money is appropriate much of the time, but it’s not the only way.

Think of how impactful a personalised approach can be in creating a greater emotional connection.

So there you have my 5 keys to use recognition to drive sales results…how do you stack up against them??

If you enjoyed this article please click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts.

3 approaches to become a great Sales Coach

Make more sales by aligning Sales & Marketing activities

Do you need “Senior” Sales Professionals

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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