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.
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.
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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]