How to Create a Sales Supportive Culture
“If you are not involved in looking after the customers, you had better make sure you are looking after the people who are looking after them!”
That’s a Sales Supportive culture!
That’s why customer and sales focussed businesses have consistently better growth and better profits than others.
It’s not quantum physics … If your customers don’t buy, business stops. Your accountant may have calculated the figures to three decimal places, but no matter how good he / she and the other staff are, the business will cease to employ them.
If you think about it, the “culture” is part of what customers buy when they use your company. Are your staff all friendly, service orientated, nothing too much trouble etc, or the opposite. That’s your business culture. That culture can appear accidentally, or it can be “managed” positively to give results.
So, take a hard look at your business and ask yourself if it is being run for the administrators and accountants, for you as the boss, or for the customers and the employees who deal with them.
CREATING A SALES CULTURE
A culture is a set of subtle rules that define the way things happen in a business. In simple terms it’s “The way we do things here”. Unless you make a conscious effort to create a defined culture, you will almost invariably get the Boss’s culture or style. That may be good, but if the boss is an analytical introvert, that style will not work well in a sales environment.
However no matter what his personal style, the boss or manager is the key to achieving a cultural change, particularly a “Sales Culture”. It is his or her actions that are most watched and emulated by staff. So his / her involvement is essential.
THE SECRET INGREDIENT FOR CHANGE
The secret ingredient that drives cultural change is ….
“What you measure is what you get!”
If we want a sales culture, then actual sales and sales supportive behaviour is what we measure. Since we want to increase sales and support, we reward good performance in those areas.
1. MEASURE SALES
The first demonstration of sales culture is sales measurement. Start measuring your sales results on a daily, weekly, monthly and year to date against your objectives, past year’s performance and most importantly do it by salesperson as well as collectively.
2. DISPLAY SALES RESULTS
Show everyone on staff how important sales are to you by displaying them where everyone can see them. Keep them up to date and make a show of doing it yourself as the boss. It won’t be long before everyone starts taking notice and commenting.
3. POSITIVE RESPONSES ONLY
Make positive comments only. It’s tempting but unproductive to point to a salesperson’s poor results and tell them to do better. Instead work on rewarding those doing well with positive comments and questions about their success and ignore those doing poorly. Get good performers to share their methods with the others.
4. REWARD “SALES SUPPORT” PERFORMANCE
Ask your salespeople to nominate non-sales staff who have been particularly helpful in a month. Then make a point of telling the staff member concerned, publicly and rewarding them. Set standards for sales support and customer interaction, as your benchmarks for performance.
5. REWARD THE “WHOLE” TEAM
When your organisation reaches a sales target or milestone, reward all staff, not just the sales team. A “well done team”, from the boss and perhaps a function they can all enjoy or even a bonus in their pay, does wonders for sales support culture building. This builds the whole staff into a team with sales as their objective.
6. ARE YOU, THE BOSS, SUPPORTING SALES?
As the owner or manager, you could have policies or be making decisions, which make sales, or cooperation with sales staff, more difficult than they could be. Your pricing strategy, the promotions, advertising, or the lack of it, might be affecting your company’s sales performance.
How can you identify any problem issues?
Simply by asking your staff what they need from you to help them achieve their sales targets and to identify any problem areas. A good way is to get your staff to form a committee and to report back. That allows people to be open and gives you a considered solution rather than lots of alternatives.
MEASURING RESULTS & REWARDING SUCCESS WORKS!
If you have any doubt about the value of measuring sales results and providing positive reinforcement, think about “Shearers”…..Barbering reluctant sheep!
But … Measure the number done by each shearer per day and you have a competition! Tell everyone the result and reward the champions and you have a culture that works for you. Most of all you have got the wool off those sheep very fast. That’s the owner’s or manager’s objective. Create a culture and the motivational job’s done for you.
Create a Sales and Sales Support Culture in your business and you turn everyone into a salesperson.