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Let's hire a hotshot, an expert, and to make sure the rest of the company helps, let's add "Everyone Sells" as a rally to address our declining sales.
I've heard this line from so many companies struggling to generate sales. In the average organization, selling depends on the skills of a few unskilled individuals who are rewarded for creating as many transactions as possible. They are doing whatever it takes to close the deal and get temporary results – temporary because they need to be consistently recreated for a company to survive.
Everyone else, on the other hand, is trying to rise to the vague call to action "Everyone sells" despite being plagued by the question, "What exactly does this mean?" When sales become absolutely results-oriented without consulting others, the company becomes less productive and effective.
According to a seven-year study by GiANT Worldwide, the average team only has 58 percent of their potential because they don't purposely capture everyone's genius. Instead, it relies on the propulsion of just one or two "guides". Imagine what that means for your company. How many customers could you still serve and what would sales and revenue look like if you used more team capacity?
Related: 5 Things About Your Brand Your sales team needs to sell
How do you build a successful sales culture?
Secret 1: Never Hire a Rock Star Salesperson If You Want Your Business To Grow
Instead, build a balanced team, because who's on a team is less important than how team members interact, how their work is structured, and how their contributions are displayed. According to 5 Voices writers Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, a successful culture includes five specific types of contributors that complement each other's weaknesses and are critical to business growth: Pioneer, Connector, Guardian, Creative, and Nurturer.
The pioneer is usually the person in charge. In this case, the Rockstar Salesperson is vital because they think results-oriented and strategic. As soon as they have an idea that they want to implement, they unfortunately rarely ask for input or opinion. Often times, they fire others who they believe are not competent or as experienced as they are. This behavior can be a major contributor to the malfunction of a team. The alternative is to create an intentionally dynamic team
A connector is the evangelist of ideas and an expert in finding resources. You always seem to know someone who knows someone who can help. They love to share what is happening and to inspire others to get involved by just talking about one idea. As people lover, they struggle to challenge ideas and will just go along with it, but often they tell people different stories in order to reach an agreement. When these people compare notes, they think they have been lied to when the connector feels they are telling the same thing to everyone.
The Guardian is the process and systems guru and the key to scaling any operation. They hate to waste resources and are risk averse. A focus on the here and now means they are asking the tough questions of how are you going to move from your location to your desired location. "We'll find out when we go" is not an option. These people often clash with the creators of a team because it feels like an anchor holding everyone back.
The creative is an idea scout. When they hear something, they immediately start analyzing all the ways to get there, including a detailed risk assessment of what is the smartest way to get there. They tend to be perfectionists and may try to avoid as many stumbling blocks as possible in a strategy or plan.
Finally there is the male nurse. This is someone who knows the pulse of an organization and is a natural team player. They always put people first and are great representatives of how your customers react to a product or service and how the company reacts to a change. You will always ask, “Does this feel right? Is it right for the customer and the company? “But because they don't like conflict, they will stick to their ideas unless they feel completely safe.
Secret 2: Be aware of the company culture from the start
Similar to business processes, corporate culture is inherently dynamic. It is the result of a constant interplay of elements and practices that grow and change with the company. These can be either accidental or deliberate.
A random culture will form organically based on the mood and behavior of the individuals in it. This is how toxic environments usually form, as the norms of acceptable behavior are defined by the few responsible.
On the other hand, an intentional culture is one that consciously monitors team performance in order to establish practices and norms of behavior so that everyone feels confident in sharing ideas. It focuses on communicating vision and direction. It ensures everyone is aligned so that they know exactly how they are contributing to the success of the company. It's a culture where everyone is on sale
Secret 3: Align everyone with the customer experience
The key to the hunt for “everyone is on sale” is an effective and powerful process that reflects the experience you want your customers to have. This starts with creating a map of the customer journey that lists every opportunity for a service outage. Include all employees who are involved in a process at these critical interaction points. Make sure you collect data on the process to keep the conversations objective and avoid the blame game.
Once you've identified the failures, convert them into breakthroughs and redesign internal processes to support the customer journey in the way you would expect any customer to do. Involve everyone involved in the design process in order to build support for the ideas and increase acceptance through an increased sense of responsibility for the sales process. The dedication of the team makes the sales process the centerpiece of everyone's work, not the person on the spot closing the deals.
Related: 4 Strategies To Convert Your Sales Funnels In 2020
In the past, impressions of a successful sales culture have been based on the wrong beliefs: 1. Since a rock star salesman can temporarily save a business, we should just hire more of it. 2. Focusing on culture does not provide a measurable ROI. and 3. Culture is something to worry about after solving our sales problem.
To change your business reality, take an honest assessment of team tendencies and determine which of the above voices are missing. Hire to fill that void so you have an inclusive, balanced culture. Establish rules of engagement that show that it's okay to be wrong or to fail because you support one another. Focus on intentional communication; not a necessary basic exclusion, but transparency in message and content. Finally, make sure everyone knows how they're contributing to the customer experience.