As a nationally based company that supports the uniform apparel, and linen industry, Growth Dynamics has been privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most dynamic companies in the industry ranging from small to large.
In conversations with CEO’s, Presidents and VP’s of Sales in every industry over the last 2-3 years, one trend is consistent: as customers have changed considerably how they buy… you must change how you sell. As a leader in your company, you must acknowledge “change” as a constant in sales… and seek solutions and leadership efforts to transform and re-engage your sales and service organizations.
The Market, Economy and Sales.
Across the United States every type of company and industry is being affected by changes in the marketplace. We all know the economy, technology and market pressures have forever changed how customers operate and how they make buying decisions. Your sales and service teams are dealing with competitive pressures and may be struggling to adapt to the needs of customers who are seeking better pricing, support, product availability, etc. There is strong pressure to grow and develop customers before the competition does. This changes the business landscape and requires the sales and service organizations to adapt and find new ways to perform.
Why has this change evolved so quickly?
Simple answer – technology. Today, technology has transformed how customers communicate, how products are ordered, how information is tracked, and more importantly how companies must support and service customers. As technology has evolved, it has transformed every aspect of how people engage, work, and sell.
Customers rely on your sales or service teams to be the expert and the conduit to assuring that their needs are met by your company. And, they rely more heavily on the relationship, “trusting” the person they work with from your company. Never will the customer not want a relationship, conversation or someone they trust to support their business. The reason is simple… customers have no more interest in replacing you as a vendor then they do looking for a new one.
The BIG Question… why won’t our sales or service teams change how they sell?
This is a common question of CEO’s and sales and service leadership … the answer though is not that simple. It may be that, as the role of sales or service has changed, the employee may no longer fit the business as they once did…a hard reality. Although they were the right person when first hired, they may no longer be motivated or interested in the role today and need to find a new career.
Other reasons include: 1) they have gotten rusty and lack the confidence to try new ways to sell so they don’t, 2) they have no idea HOW to change and adapt their efforts to FIT the role of sales or service today because they don’t know what it is, or 3) leadership has not embraced the change and does not lead them on a new path or direction for success.
How Do You Direct Change in Sales?
GDI research proves that 78% of all sales professional have to adapt or modify their efforts away from their natural interests today to be successful. The best way to get a sales or service professional to adapt and modify their efforts is not training, beatings or ultimatums… it is simply requiring them to re-engage their customer in a new way with a process that helps them define what customers want, how they want it, and then deliver just that. We call this gaining sales / service team and customer intelligence that drives sales.
Where is your team spending their time…is it in the right places? Often they are spending too much time in the wrong places and wasting valuable time in areas where they are comfortable. Collaborate with your team to set clear expectations and actionable, realistic goals so they know what they need to do to be successful and hold them accountable for performance.
Help your sales or service team understand their strengths and how to adapt to the changing customer scenarios. This will help them gain confidence to do what is needed in the job for success.
Lead the charge and partner with your team to sell. By partnering with your team you help them learn to adapt and change how they do the role and build strong success in the team going forward.
Sales Leadership and Change…
Are you leveraging your sales and service organizations for success today and in the future? As companies today seek to select, develop and retain top performers that FIT the role, the team becomes more effective and the expectation is higher for increased leadership and support. Better performers expect better leadership… or they will leave because they can.
As sales and service professionals today look to change how they perform, company leadership must ask their team, “What can I do to help?” Company leadership must also look internally and ask themselves, “What should I do to better my skills, my efforts… and optimize the team?” Top leaders that eliminate obstacles and effectively coach, engage, and partner with their team will win.
If your sales and service teams understand the changes that are occurring and how to perform better … you can create the platform for transforming your organization for success today and in the future.
Ty Swain is CEO of Growth Dynamics. GDI offers world-class sales solutions for the selection, performance and retention in today’s leading organizations. He can be reached at tswain(at)gdicorp.com or (877) 434-2677