A selling organization is not a very common term, and yet selling organizations are one of the most common kinds of organizations out there. “Most companies call the place that produces revenue a sales department. I don’t love that. If you think about sales, sales is a result. Selling is an activity that gets you to the result,” said Shawn Karol Sandy, interviewed by John Golden.
In this expert sales interview, Sandy explores what it takes to establish a selling organization by explaining four fundamental building blocks:
- A company’s culture
- Company behaviors
- The strategies developed to reinforce the behaviors
- The direction that leads to strategy creation that leads to behaviors, which drive culture
Culture is the ubiquitous mindset of the organization, made up of the purpose and the values that are shared amongst all employees. It does not just apply to those on the sales team. And yet, there is a mindset for non-sales employees that they only cost the organization what they get paid and that they don’t have a fiscal and financial responsibility to the organization they work for. “That was my first clue that we needed to address culture. Everyone is responsible for contributing to the organization. We need to address culture so that everyone is responsible for contributing, and ensure everyone is connected to the results,” said Sandy. Ensuring that every employee is unified in their understanding of how they contribute provides a widespread culture that facilitates company growth.
Defining Organization Behavior:
After a culture is developed, specific practices are used to reinforce and uphold this culture. “If you define yourself as a selling organization, then you have to define the behaviors of what that means,” said Sandy. “This includes the person who answers the phone, to the sales team, to the organizational team, to the delivery driver. Everyone must support the shared mindset in how they act and behave.” It’s also essential to train your staff on these behaviors and encourage them to practice them daily. Modeling behaviors is also an excellent approach. You can’t hold your team accountable to things that you aren’t doing yourself.
The strategy looks at taking a selling organizations behaviors and using these behaviors to go to the market and make a profit. Having a sharp plan, and going to market with a strong culture, will help you prevail in the sales world. Flat, generic strategies are used by many organizations, despite lacking quality. For example, if an organization says that they don’t have a specific target market, and they have general principles for securing clients, they won’t be as successful as someone with a sharp strategy and particular target market.
Direction and Execution:
Having a culture, behaviors that support the culture, and a strategy for upholding behaviors is an excellent start, but it doesn’t mean anything if these things aren’t executed. “Having people who are embedded in the culture, and on board with creating a selling organization is super important,” said Sandy. Many people want results, but they’re not willing to reset the current culture or hold people accountable for living out the new culture. “If you can embrace this idea of a selling organization, and think, ‘what do I have to do to support the people directing the strategy and directing the behavior? How do I help all employees to live and breathe the culture?’ If you can answer these questions, and see them to fruition, you will begin to see a change in the organization,” said Sandy.
About Our Host
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.
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