Column from Florida Trend’s Business Coach
Written by by Ron Stein / Published 11/28/2011
Anyone at your company — from the person who answers the phone to the engineering team and even manufacturing workers — can end up talking with a prospect or customer.
They all don’t need to be trained to deliver an “in your face” sales pitch, but they all need to be advocates for your organization. And you, as a company leader, have a responsibility to make sure that there is a culture of awareness and sensitivity to the customer’s point of view. Each employee needs to know why your business exists and understand that the health of the company ultimately depends on happy customers. You should constantly encourage a customer-service and sales attitude across the entire company.
Here are five ways to make this happen.
1. Check whether great customer service is a cornerstone of your company’s brand. Small things will make a big difference. Here’s a simple test: call your company to see how people answer the phone and ask yourself if you’d do business with that company.
2. Make sure everyone can cite your value proposition and what it means.
3. Let everyone know about new tools that are available and their purpose. When a new data sheet, PowerPoint presentation, or program is produced, don’t assume everyone is aware of it and what it’s for. Send out an email bulletin with a quick blurb — then add it to a list of available collateral material with revision numbers.
4. Hold regular company-wide updates. Even if you have only a handful of employees this is important. Let them know what’s going on and encourage your team to ask questions. Be a little selective with the financial information you give them. This is a good time to set expectations in a very positive way. Doing this once a month or so is a great way to build trust and a positive team spirit.
5. Hold weekly sales review meetings lasting no more than an hour. Start off by going over the deals closed the previous week and highlight why you won. If you lost a deal that week, highlight why you lost it. Then go through the prospect list, beginning with the highest-close probability (based on meetings, product fit, project funding, buying signals, etc.) and discuss the next steps. This is a good time to ask for ideas that help move the ball forward from all participants, not just sales and marketing. Make sure every account and action item has a name of a person and a commitment date. End when the hour is up, even if you haven’t gotten through all the prospects on the list. This is your priority list for the upcoming week.
It’s all about a winning sales attitude. Great corporate marketing strategies build upon each individual employee as part of a value proposition to infuse a winning sales attitude.