Many organizations are dysfunctional in sales. It’s almost as if the different parts of an organization pull in different directions when selling.
Is there an enemy within?
We often hear salespeople, and even sales managers, say that they don’t feel supported by their companies when it comes to selling. Here are some examples:
They seem to have been reluctant to request a demo for a significant customer.
Their efforts in winning a big deal appear to be undermined by a shaky project start or poor project management of delivery/implementation.
Salespeople seem to have a low priority for technical support and training.
It appears that standard sales support requests are being made by sales personnel.
Sales managers and sales reps often feel like they are the last to hear about any changes or developments in the company.
Salespeople are not involved in making decisions that affect sales.
Sales is not a responsibility of the senior management team.
These factors can be a problem in a market that is buoyant. These factors can become a problem in challenging market conditions that last more than a decade.
Without any internal obstacles, salespeople have enough to face in finding and keeping customers. Sales performance is hampered by politics and internal divisions. They are a significant threat to the sales effort.
Why sales may not be getting full support
There are usually two causes if people don’t give their support to the sales effort.
First, the sales team or manager has not shown that they are worthy or grateful. Sales must earn respect, cooperation, and support they so desperately need.
Second, and perhaps more important, is the leadership deficit. In other words, the CEO isn’t doing his or her job. It is essential to have a pro-sales culture.
Sales must accept the fact that they are not always the ‘coolest kid on the block.’ They need to recognize the differences between selling and other business functions such as marketing, finance, and technical.
Selling internally is critical. It must improve its teamwork and cooperation skills. It must build relationships, make friends and reach a broader consensus.
Is Your Organization 100% Pro-Sales?
These are two facts that define those companies whose ethos does not focus on 100% sales and customer service:
If there is poor communication and a lack of trust and respect, co-operation between departments and sales will suffer.
If the CEO and sales manager do not get along, don’t expect them to be able to work together with sales.
It is crucial to create a culture of pro-sales. This requires that you mobilize the entire sales team and get all the members of your management team behind the sales effort. Whose job? The sales manager plays a significant role, but without the CEO providing leadership, the chances of success are slim. A pro-sales CEO will be essential.
Let’s get real
A company can be divided into three types of people or departments according to our simplistic view of the world. This includes those who sell and those who help others who sell.
Companies face enough challenges in today’s market without having to deal with any additional obstacles. If there are any aspects of an organization that do not support sales, it should be addressed as a priority.
Keep this in mind as you ask the following questions:
Are you 100% dedicated to winning new customers or keeping existing ones?
Do sales staff receive 100% support from all parts of your company, from operations to the sales department?
Is the sales organization setting an example of good cooperation?
Are sales managers influential leaders? Can they build goodwill and galvanize the team behind the sales strategy?
Is your culture conducive to co-operation, sharing of responsibility, and effective teamwork?
Does every department head support sales?
Does the sales team approach involving other functional areas?