Roy's Blog: September 2009
September 3, 2009
Sales is a critical component of your overall business strategy and it needs to be branded to distinguish it in the competitive masses.
The branding process starts with clarifying the strategic context for Sales. Sales must ‘look up’ to your overall strategy and define its specific role from it.
Sales should never be allowed to create its own destiny. In another Article, I discussed the importance of establishing Sales as Relationship Builders NOT product floggers to create long term success rather than ‘one-sale wonders’.
Your Sales brand, then, needs to be created in the image of relationship building.
As with your overall business strategy, develop The ONLY Statement for Sales. ‘Our Sales team is the only one that ...’ is a claim that will set the foundation for their brand. Remember Roy’s Rule of Three - focus on the critical few relationship building attributes that are the most compelling to the customers your have chosen to SERVE and that address your sales competencies . Here are some possibilities: consultation expertise, trusted advice, problem solving skills and more (see Chapter Fifty - One of my book).
Once you have nailed down your only claim - ‘Our Sales team is the only one that will lose a sale to do what is right for the customer in the long term’ - you have your brand. And, you must break it down into specific behaviors salespeople need to exhibit on a daily basis. I call it the Sales Behavior Charter which is a list of the critical behaviors you want demonstrated by every salesperson everyday.
Behaviors are necessary in order to see if the ONLY claim is being lived and gives a salesperson specific direction in terms of what they have to do. If this level of behavioral granularity is not defined every salesperson will interpret the only claim in their own way and will lead to inconsistent customer treatment and dysfunction in executing the overall strategy.
Who is the judge of whether or not the Sales Behavior Charter is being adhered to? THE CUSTOMER of course. Once you have defined the behaviors to support the only claim, ask the customer on a regular basis to rate each salesperson (simple 1 to 5 scale) how the extent to which they are consistently demonstrating each behavior. A ‘1’ suggests they aren’t doing anything; a ‘5’ says they are consistently doing it. Simple.
And, build the Customer Report Card into the Sales compensation plan to ensure it matters. If a salesperson has 50% of their bonus on the line for only claim behaviors they will pay attention!