What World-Class Sales Organizations Know
There are very few world-class sales organizations in the world, and this was confirmed to me in conversations I had after writing my blog about bad customer service experiences.
It would appear I am not alone in my less-than-stellar experiences with sales people. In the last week, I have had no fewer than seven phone calls regarding disheartening interactions with so-called sales professionals.
The common theme in all of the discussions eventually circled back to one question: “What do world-class sales organizations know, and why don't more companies strive for that?"
A very interesting question and one which I believe is truly worth examining in detail.
In meeting with the salespeople I described in recent posts, not only did I make a point of providing each with a business card to ensure they had my contact information, I also asked how long they'd been in their present position and in the industry as a salesperson.
Their answers are an integral part of my answer to the question from those who called me this week.
You see, as much as I was critical of the complete absence of professionalism I experienced in dealerships and show suites, responsibility for this poor conduct rests not only with those I encountered, but also with their boss, and that person's boss, all the way up to the very top of the house.
Interestingly, should complaints be directed against the salespeople, any punitive action taken will be directed at them, leaving the others in the chain void of responsibility, and in place, allowing those very same behaviours to continue, either with the same salespeople or with new ones.
It Comes Down to Culture
That's because the culture in which these folks found themselves enabled them to be as unprofessional as they were in interacting with me. Until the culture – the way we do things around here - shifts and changes in the long term, there is little likelihood of their conduct with potential customers changes.
I am an ardent believer in the principle 'you get what you tolerate.' Organizations that have disrespectful or unknowledgeable salespeople have them and keep them, because it has been made acceptable for those staff members to conduct themselves that way.
Behaviours are always born from a culture that both supports them and allows them to blossom. And when the prevailing culture supports mediocrity it is a reflection of the values those at the helm, either explicitly or implicitly.
As an ignored customer, I feel no anger towards those sales folks. What I do feel though is a profound sense of sadness, because either their ignorance around their conduct, or their wilfulness in choosing to forfeit sales opportunities will almost certainly bring them a great deal of stress and discomfort in the long term.
I am frequently asked to deliver a “motivational” presentation to a sales group. My standard response is no, that' s not technically what I do. I will, however, gladly present an alternative perspective.
It's not possible to motivate others in the dictionary sense: 1. to provide with a motive, or a cause or reason to act; incite; impel.
Those things can only be realized from within. We can only learn how to become motivated. For this to occur, and sustain, we need to must create our own internal climate, to build and support this result.
What World-Class Sales Organizations Know
What world-class sales organizations know is that the team must become, and stay, intrinsically motivated. And the overall corporate culture in which we operate will, more than anything else, determine our odds of that happening.
And that is why I felt such sadness for those hapless salespeople. I not only wish them well, I wish them haste in moving to an employer whose culture not only supports the development of that personal drive to success, it expects and demands it.
And if only they would call, I can help them find that very place.
Till we read again.
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