In every other business function (accounting, engineering, operations) there are documented processes, common cultures, and established vocabularies with terms that are clearly understood—everywhere except in sales.
It is a rare company that has a strong and distinct sales culture, complete with a common language for discussing, conducting, and improving the sales process. The few companies that have built such sales cultures are easy to recognize—they’re a lot more successful.
Everyone who makes contact with customers should understand your sales language.
It isn’t only salespeople who should be indoctrinated into your sales culture. Every time a customer contacts your company, that customer becomes more or less sold on your products. If your employees all know how your sales process works, they can be far more effective at influencing customers in your favor.
Here are some tips to help you begin building a common sales culture.
Document the way your sales process works, and identify the important milestones in the process. What are the major steps that lead to a sale? Everyone in the organization who comes into contact with customers should know what the next logical step would be.
Teach employees how to ask better questions—what Action Selling calls The Best Questions. This allows your people to do a better job of building rapport and identifying how best to proceed with particular customers.
Teach employees how and when to make Positive Company Statements. Nobody should miss an opportunity to pass along good news about your company, whether it involves a new product, favorable financial performance, a joint venture, or whatever the case may be.
Within the sales force itself, a common language is especially important. For instance, terms unique to Action Selling (such as Commitment Objective, TFBR, and Universal Stall Breaker) allow a sales team to communicate clearly and precisely about how to improve performance in specific areas of the sales process.
Develop a strong sales culture, based on a common language and built upon a well-defined sales process. You will create a powerful orchestra, with all the musicians playing from the same score for your customer audience.
Action Selling In Action
When companies see the results of Action Selling on the performance of individual sales teams, they often decide to use the system as a catalyst for building or improving their entire “sales culture.”
“Our goal in implementing Action Selling was to develop a common selling language for our 300-unit franchise network,” says Terry Huber, director of training at Signs Now. “We wanted a solid sales standard that could drive sales productivity in the field.”
Now Action Selling is delivering results across the whole network. Roger Watkins, owner of the Signs Now franchise in Bloomington, Ind., sums it up this way: “Before starting my franchise, I was a police officer. Gaining commitment as a police officer was relatively easy. In sales, it’s a different challenge. Action Selling has given me the ammunition I needed. I’m now ahead of my aggressive goal of 26 percent sales growth.”
Similar performance changes are sited by other franchises. “At Signs Now,” says Terry Huber, “we have adopted Action Selling as part of our culture with tremendous success.”
Contact The Sales Board at 1-800-232-3485 and find out how your company can improve it’s sales culture.
ABOUT DUANE SPARKS
Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).
Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).