How to Turn Every Employee Into a Salesperson to Boost Your Business
I have always believed that everyone is in sales regardless of their position and corresponding responsibilities:
- The receptionist who answers the phone and greets the visitors that come into the office
- The accounts receivable employee who speaks with clients about collection matters
- The technicians who are in the field attending to service issues.
Yes, everyone is in sales.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every employee will be a trained sales professional directly tasked with sourcing leads, developing prospects, and bringing business into the company. Not at all. What I am suggesting is that you should promote a “sales culture” within your company that promotes the philosophy that everyone can play a role in helping to drive revenues and retain clients.
Here’s how to start:
A true sales culture must be embraced by everyone in the company and not only by those employees in traditional sales or client-facing roles. Have a series of town-hall meetings or departmental discussions to generate employee enthusiasm and where everyone can share ideas on how they can contribute to the growth of the company. You might be amazed by the valuable input that is generated during meetings and how “being heard” will help to grow the desired culture shift. For example, you can read about Zappos switch to a self-management system called Holacracy.
Provide Additional Training for “First Impressionists”
Make certain that all of the “first impressionists” in your company—the receptionists, customer service reps, field technicians—understand the critical importance of their words and the tone and manner in which they are spoken. They should even be well trained on how to best manage their appearance and body language when interfacing with clients. Certain company standards including management-approved verbiage for answering the phone and a dress code for service technicians are extremely helpful in providing consistency and quality assurance.
Have an Open-Door Policy When It Comes To Sales
While you might expect your sales growth to be derived from the efforts of your “official rain-makers” (aka the sales department), you should also recognize additional sales from employees across your entire organization. Be welcome and encouraging of their sales initiatives, and of course develop a compensation plan to reward them for their efforts too. Keep in mind:
- Anyone can have a fantastic idea that can lead to more sales.
- Everyone has friends, family and contacts that can be a potential client or referral source.
- (Almost) everyone is on social media with hundreds or even thousands of contacts.
Mind Your Manners
How your employees behave outside of the office can undermine your company’s reputation. Drinking to excess when taking clients out to dinner, mentioning the company in unprofessional postings on social media, making derogatory remarks about competitors when attending networking events—these and more can cause irreparable damage to the individual and his or her employer (you!). You can help to curtail such behavior by outlining what is considered unacceptable employee behavior outside of the office in your employee handbook.
We Are Our Own Customers; Be Clear About Your Company Values
Having a few employees that make unsettling comments about the corporate culture, engage in snarky conversation about senior executives, and/or are rude to fellow employees can erode the enthusiasm and esprit de corps of your staff. Happy and engaged employees are your best defense against this unwanted behavior, and senior management and supervisors must make it a mandate to present and reinforce your corporate values and expectations in company-wide and departmental meetings.
When everyone can see himself or herself contributing to sales either directly or indirectly, everyone wins. And that’s what you want, right?