Sales Behaviour vs Strategy
Sales behavior & strategy - and the role of sales processes and corporate culture.
Sales is a craft. It takes quite some skill to be a great sales representative. In order to convince clients to do business with you, the right sales techniques are required, the situation must be anticipated upon correctly and you must have plenty of professional knowledge to close a deal. Especially showing the right sales behaviour is an important success factor in Sales. So the question you should ask yourself: “Does the sales behaviour of our sales representatives reflect the sales strategy of my organization?”
It is of great importance that you know what sales behaviour your sales representatives should show. Take the strategy as a starting point for this. If it is strategically important to make quick deals and win many new customers, then you want salespeople with goal-oriented and entrepreneurial qualities. Sales representatives who hunt also persevere against objections and head straight for their (sales)target. These representatives are not afraid to hear “no” every now and then.
When recurring business is the strategic direction, the focus should be more on the relational side of sales. This requires salespeople to excel in building and maintaining close contact with clients and cross-sell additional products or services through extensive professional knowledge.
Conclusion: When a company’s strategy is leading, it is of great importance that every salesperson exactly knows where their own sales qualities lie. In this way, the sales representative knows that his behavior is in line with the strategic goals of the organisation.
Of course, every sales quality also has its pitfalls. Especially if you have one or more dominant sales qualities. Sales representatives that excel in pro-activeness and always ask for a deal might come across as too direct and may scare some customers away due to their directness. A sales representative that focuses on the relationship with the customer might take too long to come with an offer, leading to the competition beating him. Sales representatives exactly knowing their sales qualities and pitfalls helps them to become more effective in their day to day work.
But of course, as an employer, you cannot leave everything to the sales representatives. An employer also has a responsibility in this problem. And this can not be fixed by just hiring some training agency. The solution is often close. Salespeople could be supported better by sales processes to develop the desired behavior. For example: the sales strategy focuses on ‘consultative selling’ because this fits with the phase the company is currently in. Knowledge, regarding both product, service and market, is an important part of consultative selling. When you as an employer ensure that processes that help to excel in consultative selling, you help sales to become better at ‘consultative selling’. For example: product training, conferences to gain more market knowledge, refresher courses, data reports, etc. ensure that sales representatives are pushed in the right direction to become great consultative sellers.
Not only will you get more salespeople who connect better with the sales strategy, but training efforts will stick better since it aligns with the desired strategy as well. This way you also get a higher return on training investments. Lastly, another “button that you can push”. When the internal collaboration within the company also fits seamlessly with the strategy, salespeople will excel even more. We call this commercial culture. Measuring commercial culture is an important parameter for predicting sales success. An example: A salesperson can win a large order, but the planning is somewhat complicated because the client has specific wishes. The seller brings this news to its own planning department. But since there is little ‘commercial’ support there, many objections arise. “What did you promise again?” is the first thing the seller hears.
Summarised, the sales department is not internally supported by its planning department. By providing insight into the quality of the internal cooperation, targeted action can be taken. For example, regular consultations between both parties to manage expectations. Or you can provide internal departments with more knowledge about sales and the company’s commercial objectives. And there are even more things that can be organised to improve the commercial culture within any organization. These examples can have a significant impact on the result for your company!
Would you like to know the current status of your sales organisation? Or do you want to have an analysis performed? Then contact us!