By: Justin Vanhartingsveldt, Co-President & Co-Founder, SalesEvolve
Who is in sales? The answer to this simple question can have a profound and powerful impact on your company. What people believe to be the answer will shape their approach to how their company is run and managed. Additionally, it will influence how much the customer experience is considered in running the company. While we all believe that people in the sales department are in sales, what if we took a different approach? What if we believed that everyone in your company is in sales? Let’s explore this together.
Looking at “who is in sales” from a customer experience perspective
To answer who is in sales, we must examine where customers are influenced to make choices about buying what your company offers. These are the customer touch points within your business.
It is a fact that customers are influenced to buy—or to continue buying—in every step of their customer journey (pre-sale and post-sale). Good experiences build your chances of earning repeat business. Bad experiences push customers away. Neutral experiences leave you vulnerable. As a result, everything you produce and every engagement with the customer will shape their experience. It will also help them decide whether to do business with you.
Where are people influenced to buy from you?
Common areas where people are influenced in their decisions to buy from you include:
- Social media posts
- Online reviews
- Sales staff
The less obvious areas
Have you considered the less obvious areas that highly influence people’s perception of your business? These include:
- Attentiveness, attitude and professionalism of staff
- Billing accuracy
- Helpfulness of customer service & support staff
- Appearance and cleanliness of your buildings
- The experience of walking into your place of business
- The state of your parking lot
- Vibe of your office environment
- Experience with your delivery staff
Contributors to the customer experience
Look closely and you’ll quickly see that everyone—if they do their job well—contributes to sales. For example, custodial staff keep the office looking clean, which is important when customers visit. Similarly, an engaging customer support team creates a strong customer experience. Thus influencing a customer’s decision for repeat business. Furthermore, consider IT staff that create a telephone system that is simple to use and easily connects customers to your staff. They are doing their part in selling your company. Finally, a website that is easy to read, free of bad links and spelling errors show to customers that you care about communications. All of these contribute to the customer experience.
Now let’s consider the inverse. To illustrate, reflect on the last miserable experience you had with a company. Maybe you experienced persistent billing issues or perhaps unmotivated customer service staff? Remember that time you sat on the phone waiting for a live person only to be cut off when your call was answered? How did that affect your perception of the company? Did that experience cause you to think about whether you wanted to do business with that company again?
If you believe each person and every customer interaction point has the power to affect the customer experience and influence sales, then it stands to reason that you believe “sales” is a holistic company function.
Sales is not just a department within your company. Instead, everyone in the company supports sales as a whole. What do we do with this?
Who is in sales? Everyone
If you believe that every customer interaction with your company has the power to sell, then we must look at the company in a new light. Think about your company and consider the following:
1) Corporate culture
- Do your words and internal communications remind everyone that they are all an important part of sales?
- Do you help all staff recognize why their work is important to the customer experience?
- Are your staff encouraged to always go the extra mile to ensure the customer’s experience surpasses what’s expected?
- Do you give your customer facing staff basic sales training?
- Are they able to recognize a sales opportunity and if so, can they do some basic qualification?
- Do they know who to send the opportunity to?
- Can your staff give a clear, consistent, and succinct “pitch” about what your company provides and why it is so unique to the market?
3) Communication & sharing information
- When your team members learn something important about your customers or potential customers, is their first instinct to share this information with the sales staff?
- If customer service deals with a challenging problem, do they let the account managers know?
4) Excellent customer touch points
- When was the last time you sat down and listed every point of contact your customers have with your company?
- When you look at these, are they optimized for the ideal customer experience?
- Are the words you use positioned in a way that speaks in terms of what value your clients will receive from what you provide?
5) Company structure
- Do you ensure that your internal processes and your staff’s roles are aligned to your ideal customer’s needs?
- Is the objective of people’s roles focused on how to help customers achieve the very best experience with your company?
In conclusion, when organizations truly believe that everyone is part of the sales ecosystem, the entire company will take on a different focus. “Sales” stops becoming a dirty word to many. In addition, people start to identify with their role in your company’s and your customer’s success. If your company needs to make this shift, recognize that this type of change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time because it affects so many people, strategies and processes.
You may find yourself needing a fresh perspective and an experienced team to help you along. SalesEvolve wants to earn your business and we would be happy to hear from you. Reach out to us to get the conversation started.