Who is on Your Sales Team?

By Nancy Stiver

Who is on your sales team? The answer goes way beyond the people that are actually on your sales team. Each and every employee in your organization is on your sales team. From the receptionist to the cleaning crew all the way to the top of the company, everyone is selling your business. The sales process isn’t limited to salespeople, it is the job of everyone in the organization. Dirty bathrooms, rude employees and other deficiencies will have an adverse effect on the sales process.

This strategy requires a commitment from the top and well-defined objectives. My mentor and former boss always said, “The speed of the captain is the speed of the crew.” This concept is simple but not easy to implement. It takes an organizational commitment to make this strategy work.

When working for a Forbes Fortune 100 organization, my sales team landed a huge account that we had been working on for a long time. Our potential customer was flying into town to tour our facility. One of our part-time employees was dispatched to retrieve our client from the airport. Our very resourceful employee had a cup of coffee waiting for our prospect when he entered the shuttle van.

After personally giving the prospect a tour of the facility, I invited him into my office and started my sales presentation, when he interrupted me. He said, “Any company that has a shuttle driver who is so mannerly and professional surely knows and understands customer care”. He had heard so many good things about our company, and now he understood why. “You have my business”, he said. One small gesture from an employee outside of the sales staff was a critical element to closing the deal.

Too often, business leaders forget how their entire staff can impact the sales process - positively or negatively. Giving your employees the tools they need to understand how important their positions are in the sales process is critical. Providing customer care training to your staff should not be ignored.

I will never forget another example of how one employee, who was not an actual sales person, made such a difference with a customer. Our operations manager, who was extremely meticulous and kept our warehouse impeccable, had an encounter with a customer who had happened to be in the facility that day. After our customer had a tour of the facility, she approached me and complimented me for such a neat and organized display of merchandise. She said, “Any company that takes such great care of their displays must know how to take care of the customer. ” I learned from her that that was the primary reason for her deciding to do business with us.

Those situations made quite an impression on me, and were an integral piece in securing business for our company. This kind of attention to detail can help your business too. Can-do attitudes do not just happen. Motivation isn’t magically introduced from a speech at an all-employee meeting or a clever article in a company newsletter. Can-do attitudes come from strong leadership.

Each and every employee in your organization is on your sales team It is important to know that everyone in your company is involved in non-selling sales during their day. Non-selling sales is involved in every customer interaction. A rude conversation or failing to follow up by someone in the organization can cause you to lose a customer. Your maintenance department failing to clean the restroom or pick up the trash can cause you to lose business, or conversely, all of these scenarios can bring new business if handled correctly. It isn’t only the sales team that brings in the business. Any employee can be the reason you get referrals or more market share. Empower your employees with the tools and techniques that will give them the confidence to handle difficult interactions or situations. Teach them how you want your team to treat each customer with dignity and respect. Train them how to get referrals. This comprehensive company-wide investment in staff will take time, training and commitment. Imagine the results, when each and every employee provides the kind of service the shuttle driver or operations manager provided. Imagine the powerful impact your company will make when the entire staff is paying attention to detail. This kind of service makes a lasting impression, and creates positive word of mouth advertising that is still the best form of endorsement.

LCP offers online and in-person classes in teaching nonselling team members how to sell your company.

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