One of the most important indicators of a company's financial success is the extent to which it has built a sales culture among its employees. Having every single employee feel a responsibility for doing their part to increase sales and profits energizes the enterprise on a daily basis.
But how do you know if your company has a sales culture? Here are 5 indicators to help you assess your current position?
Do all of your employees know your sales and profit goals for the year?
At its heart, business is a game and we all rely upon knowing the score to decide if we are winning or losing. The owner or top management sets the overall objectives and everyone gets to work to meet the goals. But does everyone know the goal? Is it simply to stay in business? Is it to make a profit? Of course, but how more motivational would it be to have a real number, a real metric that everyone is working toward. Companies with sales cultures know their objectives and track their progress toward meeting their goals.
Do you celebrate major sales?
A company with a true sales culture gets excited over major sales, new customers, new products, new opportunities. A publishing company I know rang a loud bell whenever one of the inside sales reps made a sale over a certain amount. Applause immediately burst out, followed by an intercom explanation of the sale and who was responsible. What a great way to bring everyone into the sales mindset and recognize good work from the sales staff.
Can everyone in your company explain your Unique Sales Proposition?
The ability to explain what makes your company or product special should no be confined to the sales staff. Your customers touch your company every day in many different encounters. From the tech line to customer service to billing, your customers are building an opinion about you. All your employees reflect the uniqueness of your business and should be able to give a 30 second sales pitch. Management's commitment to on-going sales and product training to everyone can insure all your customer touches are positive.
Can your employees name your Top 5 accounts?
Recognizing the names and importance of your top accounts should be a goal for everyone in your organization. After all, these are the accounts that "pay the bills." By knowing who these customers are and why they matter, your employees will be motivated to give just a bit extra, to try just a little bit harder to make sure they are satisfied. The more your employees know your customers as people rather than sales numbers on a spreadsheet, the more they can add their own personalities and abilities to the relationship.
Do Your Share Customer Losses with Employees?
Every business loses customers over time, often through no fault of their own. It is a recognized part of business. But sharing that information with everyone is difficult for many reasons. The owner doesn't want to alarm employees or maybe you don't really know. However, even the loss of a customer can help build a sales culture if the reasons are shared, discussed and turned into actions for improvement. This can give all employees confidence that management and sales understand the loss of customers but know how to deal with it in an open, positive manner.
Asking and answering these 5 basic questions will help any small business in the process of creating a sales culture.