EMAILED QUESTION FROM A READER: Do you feel there’s a danger that ‘sales’ gets walled into one department of the organization? Do you believe that the sales philosophy needs to permeate the whole company and that there should there be an element of every employee in the company doing a ‘sales’ job of one kind or another? If so, do leaders and managers need to focus on developing this more?
REALITY: Every single person in every single company is either in sales or affects sales. Every single person in every single company is either in service or affects service.
There’s an old business adage that goes: “Everyone is in sales.” The reality is that only salespeople believe this. Even customer service people that touch customers daily and spend hours with them in what might be considered a gateway to the next sale don’t think of themselves as in sales, or don’t think of themselves as salespeople.
KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Your customers are judging every aspect of every transaction. They’re rating everything from friendliness of people to ease of doing business to quality of product to service after the sale. They’re judging how easy it is to access someone on the phone. They’re judging how the package arrived. They’re judging what the instruction book is like. And they’re certainly judging service should they need it.
The dilemma is that leadership fails to communicate and teach the importance of customer’s interactions and perceptions as they relate to the success of the company. The reason everyone in the company doesn’t perceive or realize that they’re in sales is that no one has told them and no one has taught them.
The CEO, top executives, and top management in big and small companies need to be able to sell every day.
The Chief Executive Officer is also the Chief Sales Officer. He or she is responsible for the success of the company, and the success of the company is based on selling quality goods and making a profit. The closer the CEO is to the everyday selling process, the more successful the company will become.
There has to be a partnership between the sales team, the management team, and the executive team. Leadership must create the products or the services and the marketing messages. But the messages have to be transferable and perceived by the customer to be favorable.
Management’s job is to convey leadership’s message in a compelling and inspiring way. Not just in meetings; but also by example. And finally salespeople must convert these messages and their training into sales. My belief is that the company should provide the salesperson with every training tool they need combined with encouragement to succeed.
For the past ten years we have enjoyed the biggest boomtime economy in the history of mankind. During that time, many businesses took their customers for granted while…