In many conference and board rooms across the country senior executives scratch their heads in vain attempts to truly understand their sales teams. There seems to be little connection and alignment between the financial goals of the company and the commission structure of the sales people. Changes to that structure are met with resistance, rebellion, lower sales and sales staff turnover. After a few frustrating attempts at change shoulders are shrugged, eyes are rolled and in almost perfect harmony the chorus is echoed, “That’s just the way it is with salespeople.” And life goes on as the senior management teams thinks something could be done, that in fact something should be done, but no one can quite figure out how to put it together in a positive way. Status quo wins again.

This frustration is almost always a direct result of the fact that we unknowingly manage our salespeople into exhibiting counterproductive behaviors that not only frustrate us and our employees, but most of the customers with whom we do business. In most cases, our corporate culture has created the monster that is both our slave and master. It’s out of control, but we need our fix to get through.

There are many aspects of understanding sales people and sales management that can work together to bring about the positive change that is beneficial to all areas of the company, especially the bottom line. The sales staff touches almost every department in the company, and if they are the right people with the right intentions, motivations and understanding, then the process can begin to change for the better. But that’s only part of the story. For any company to reach their full potential and have a sales staff that shares and embraces corporate goals and ideals, one that the company is genuinely proud of, there are other aspects of the company culture that also need to change.

The ad campaign that cost a ton of money and was unable to produce the anticipated results, the bickering between sales and marketing, marketing and production, sales and seemingly everybody – how do you know what steps to take that will have a positive effect and how do you  get everyone on the same page?

If everyone in the company believes in their product, whatever that product may be, and genuinely has the best interest of the customer at heart, then it becomes quite a bit easier to make decisions, control costs and increase profits. If I believe in my product, then it’s not so much selling as it is finding the people who want what I have. Think of the implications of that line of thinking. No more desperate ad campaigns, no more giving in when we should be standing firm, no more making an exception of a buyer just because we ‘don’t want to lose a sale’, a much higher rate of referral sales, no more departmental territorial skirmishes, the beneficial consequences are limitless.

If we believe in our product and approach our marketing and sales with the philosophy of finding people who want what we have, then we are dealing from an internal position of confidence. And confidence is felt by the people walking in the door, dealing with our salespeople.

Making Customers has been building teams, nourishing positive internal communication and increasing profits in select companies for two decades. If you have doubts about the teamwork, communication, territorialism, efficiencies and cost-per-sale in your organization, give us a call, we can help.

By Kirk Chittick

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