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 your customers’ worlds, they need you to be responsive to their ever-changing needs. A virtual partnership must evolve that includes your customer and everyone in your organization. It is not enough for just your sales professionals to have this relationship. Embracing a Sales Culture means that everyone in your organization understands the customer and what incentive the customer needs 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 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.
A key responsibility is where the salesperson must use those external relationship-building skills to create a virtual team within your company. This team will provide the ability to design and deliver solutions to fulfill the customer’s identified needs. The responsibility of satisfying and retaining your customers, then, falls to a larger group. Educating and including that larger group in the customer experience is what a sales culture is all about.
The virtual team is accountable for a great customer solution and experience. The team uses a top-to-bottom methodology that transforms attitudes and actions for success. It integrates specific beliefs and behaviors into the fabric of the organization, revolutionizing the ability to connect with customers and maximize revenue. The team empowers everyone in the organization who might impact a specific customer and sale. It is virtual because the members are often in different locations, departments, and/or within different reporting structures. The sales professionals must influence relevant and appropriate participation, even when most members will have no direct reporting responsibilities to the sales professional.
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. Employees and customers remain where they feel satisfied and a part of the culture. They will work together to solve problems and appreciate each others’ contributions and value. They will innovate together, providing input to your company’s next strategy. They will collaborate and impact company successes. You will also attract better, more qualified, and accomplished sales professionals. These people value winning situations. They recognize that the joint, collaborative work of all stakeholders cannot fail. Revenue will increase because you have introduced a level of stability into your workflow, which maximizes synergies and overcomes obstacles with a flexibility to accommodate changes, and, therefore, contribute to closing sales. And finally, the customer is perceived to be king and everyone knows it!