Let’s face it, sales as we know it has changed, from how to attract distracted buyers to how to nurture a long-term relationship when loyalty is diminishing almost as quickly as our attention span. Fortunately there is new information that can help us make sense of this evolution, which in turn can help educate our sales teams as to what they need to do differently.
But have you considered that possibly our sales teams as we would define them have changed as well?
In my experience, our greatest opportunity to grow a business and increase sales comes from tapping into the power of our employees. After all, it’s our employees that interact with customers, either directly or indirectly, on a weekly, daily, even hourly basis. From taking service calls to producing products that satisfy our customer’s needs, employees have a powerful impact on growing, even sustaining our sales.
Take for example a recent call I placed to a telecommunications company. After having numerous problems with our Internet connection, I called the “hotline,” only to be told the same information that was displayed on the website. Frustrated, I began to press for someone to come to our home to assess the problem, only to be told that the issue would be logged and someone would get back to me. Really? As a long-time paying customer who has a problem with something that has become almost an essential service, I have to wait to book an appointment? When I asked to escalate the problem to a supervisor, I was quickly provided some appointment date options and satisfied with the response.
Is this how we keep our customers coming back? In this instance there are a couple of problems at play. First, our employees aren’t empowered to make decisions and act on customer needs; second, employees are being trained to work from a script, rather than common sense. Unfortunately this isn’t a trend that is isolated to the telecommunications industry. It’s everywhere.
In my new book, Operational Empowerment: Collaborate, Innovate and Engage to Beat the Competition, I discuss how building a stronger employee-customer connection, along with the right tools and autonomy for our employees, can lead to a direct influence on our ability to sell. A positive customer experience provides the opportunity to obtain testimonials or to ask for a referral. Continued positive customer experiences lead to long-term satisfied customers.
So consider your business today. Have you educated your employees on what constitutes a positive customer experience? More importantly, have you provided them with the tools, time, and autonomy to satisfy customer needs? If you want to sell more, consider that your employees are a part of your sales force, both directly and indirectly. Empowering them can only lead to stronger sales and more satisfied customers.
For more information on how to build a stronger sales force, grab a copy of my new book, Operational Empowerment: Collaborate, Innovate and Engage to Beat the Competition, available now on Amazon. You can get your copy here.
© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.