Health and Fat. Two words you rarely, if ever hear used in the same sentence for a positive result. However, when it comes to developing and building an effective sales organization, giving your team the skills they need requires you as a leader to focus on makin’ ‘em FAT.
Building a sales organization is never easy, and in this economy the job has become much larger and whole lot more complicated. As a leader, you not only have to build a team of effective sales professionals, but you have to convince everyone who works and is associated with your organization that they, too, are in the business of sales.
To be effective in this new economy — the Trust & Value Economy –organizations need a team of professionals dedicated to making the customer experience not only positive, but memorable and worth talking about. At every touchpoint in your organization, your customer needs to be thoroughly enjoying the process, building trust with your team, and feel as though they are getting value for both their time and their money.
That means that whether they know it or not, everyone on your team is in the business of sales.
In today’s economy, the definition of a Sales Organization has expanded from something whose sole purpose and role is to sell products or services to customers to one in which every person who interacts with customers is part of. In other words, anyone in your organization who shows up and is breathing!
There are few jobs tougher than convincing people (who don’t like the word sell, who don’t believe they were hired to sell, and who don’t want to sell) that it is their job to sell. Convincing people they are in the job of sales is only made more difficult by the challenge of doing this at the same time you are working to make your professional and experienced salespeople more effective and efficient at the process. So where do you start and how do you get the job done? You start by rolling up your sleeves and getting down to the business of makin’ ‘em FAT!
3 Steps to Building A FAT, Healthy Sales Organization
Today’s world is full of white noise. We all hit the office every day with a “to-do” list longer than we can ever possibly accomplish — and when it comes to sales, no matter our level of skill, putting first things first is just hard to do. As a sales leader, and one who wants to build an effective sales organization, you need to begin by insuring that you and your team are focused. Whether or not your team members are just novices in the sales process or if they are seasoned professionals, they all need to be very clear about what the priorities are, the goals of the organization, and how all of those relate to the company business plan.
Getting focused is critical to their success, the organization’s success, and, most importantly, the client experience. How do you know you’re focused? Answer: When each member of the team can easily communicate where the company is headed, what that means for their department, and what four or five goals they must achieve in order to help their team and their company reach their objective.
This is the most dreaded word in sales accountability, but I have to admit I love it! In my opinion accountability is the most misunderstood word in the world of sales. We use it to catch people doing things wrong, rather than helping them to do things right. In order to build an effective sales organization you need accountability, but not to focus on what people are not doing, but on what they are doing. What they are doing well is important because you can praise, reward, and repeat behaviors. What they are doing wrong is not important to know in order to punish, but so that you can support and help them to do it better. Accountability is about helping people to do a job better, and discipline is about helping people find another job.
As sales leaders, we need to understand there is a difference — a big one — between an accountability problem and a discipline problem. Accountability is used in a way that helps you understand where, when and how your team is using their time, talking with customers, and trying to sell. When you understand what they are doing, you can identify what they are doing well and reward it. You can understand where they are struggling and focus on how they can do things differently to get a better result. Accountability is about measuring behaviors to support improvement; where discipline is just for people who choose not to do the job.
If you want to improve, you have to know what you have done. Yes it is that simple! Salespeople are not typically numbers people, but being more effective is all about tracking and measuring; it is all about the numbers. If you want to build an effective sales organization then you need to spend time as a leader to track the numbers and the team results.
You have established the goals, held them accountable for the behaviors and actions, now you need to understand what results you are (or aren’t) getting. Without the numbers, without the results, you are missing critical information that will help you course correct. Building an effective sales team requires tracking by you, the sales team, and the overall organization. At any given time each and every team member should know where they are in relation to their goal, as well as the overall goals of the company. The best athlete may not have their eye on the scoreboard every moment of every game, but you better believe when the whistle blows for a time out or for half-time, they take the time to glace at the scoreboard and take note to track where they stand. Your team needs to be doing the same thing.
So there you have it! Want to build an effective sales organization? Then focus your efforts on makin’ ‘em FAT – Focus, Accountability and Tracking!