No matter what business you’re in, you need to be sales-literate. While you may not be actively selling a product to customers, you’re selling a service and you’re selling yourselves as the best team to provide it. But unless you and your employees embrace that, your business will always be at a disadvantage.
Some organizations believe they have a sales culture, but in reality they have more of an order-taking culture. Order takers go out and find the people who need work done and do it. That’s good, but it’s not enough to truly grow a business. A sales person helps prospective clients realize they need work done, then asks for the order. This opens up a large group of customers who may not have even known that they should be in your marketplace.
The other differentiator is that the market will dictate to the order taker what revenue can be generated because the service is seen as a commodity. The bulk of your business may come from one or two products or services, but if you identify and perform complimentary services you will add depth to your offering and increase value. You can help people realize that you are not just a service provider, but a partner.
Sales culture starts at the top. If the owner of a company started his or her other career from the technical side, that owner is more likely to be technically-minded when running the organization. Sales tactics may be seen as a necessary evil to grow and capture market share. If your company isn’t sales-fluent, formal sales training – either at the executive level or throughout the business – might be the answer.
By having a true sales culture starting at the top, the chances of it trickling down throughout the organization are much higher. Do your technicians view themselves as revenue generators? What about those who handle the phones? Are your people always looking for ways to generate revenue and executing them, or is “sales” a dirty word around your company? When your people can grasp the fact they are all in sales and realize it’s about looking for additional ways to help a prospective client, revenue will increase and so will customer satisfaction.
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