Hints & Tips Blog
Learning to love ‘Sales’ – Part 2
Last time we looked at how sales can get a bad rap and some ideas to overcome ‘sales phobia’ in your teams. Here are a few more ways to help your teams learn to love sales and contribute to your sales effort.
Remove the fear
Many people find the idea of selling pretty intimidating. For some, it’s the fact that their sales success, or otherwise, will be very apparent as there’s nowhere to hide. For others, it might be a sense they don’t want to step into an arena where they might be considered subordinate to the potential customer, who is seen to have the power. Others don’t want to be perceived as an annoyance or as potentially inconveniencing a busy person by taking up their time. Or it may just be they feel they don’t have the necessary skills or approach to be able to do sales well. While most of these can be overcome by ‘re-branding’ what selling should be about as we looked at last time, there is still the issue of feeling confident you have the right skills.
Again re-framing our mindset can help. If we view sales as a way of helping someone solve a problem or make their life easier, then our role is to move them to action to enable them to benefit from what we offer. And we and our teams ‘move people to action’ in our roles as leaders, managers and team members all the time. Internally we constantly have to sell our ideas, approaches and perspective to our colleagues and team. Outside of work we do the same with our children and dare I say it our partners! So if we lack confidence in our ‘sales skills’ we should remember that our existing influencing, persuading, negotiating and relationship-building skills, which we have honed in many other settings, are the same skills an effective salesperson will employ.
Give kudos to those who do it well
Sales, like other aspects of business, requires skill and dedication. While many would admit to being nervous about selling as it’s ‘too difficult’, others can be dismissive, viewing it as a less credible or respectable profession somehow than say being an accountant or lawyer. We need to tackle this perception if it exists in our businesses, after all, there would be no numbers to crunch if nothing was sold.
It’s important we develop a culture where sales skills and salespeople are celebrated and respected for the results they deliver, outside of the sales team as well as within it. Differentiated financial reward schemes for the sales team can also set them apart from other employees and create a different culture to the rest of the business. So assessing how this might impact how they are viewed, and balancing the need to motivate them with the need to integrate them into the broader company culture can be time well spent.
Finally, if sales is seen in your business as an accomplished and honourable endeavour, rather than a necessary evil, you’re likely to be able to attract better sales talent and also engage those outside of the sales team to want to get involved and ‘do their bit’, even when it’s not in their job description.
Our team at BHP Consulting all run successful businesses, we understand that businesses are unique and our approach involves sharing this experience to improve your business. For an initial telephone conversation or face-to-face meeting, click here.