Corporate’s need execs to be coin operated to achieve the results, however, this behaviour can completely destroy trust with the customers, so how do you reconcile the situation?
The Royal commission uncovered some awful truths about sales cultures in the big banks. How is this different from any large corporate? As a non executive director how do you really know the culture of the sales organisation? As a CEO how do you address keeping shareholders happy by delivering results ensuring the Sales culture is not damaging your reputation and losing business in the long term.
Here are 4 key areas to focus on:
- Is there diversity in the Sales Leadership? Without diversity norms can be created that are totally unacceptable.
- What are customers saying about the experience? What are they really saying?
- What are the Sales people saying about the environment? What is the staff turnover? Another key indicator to how individuals feel, are they under pressure to behave in a way that does not sit with their values.
- Does it attract graduates? Graduates are vocal on all fronts about Sales teams and are an invaluable gauge to how a sales team is functioning.
Trust is destroyed quicker than you can build it, ensuring that the sales team behaviour is aligned to a culture that builds trust is critical.
in an article by By Aaron SkonnardCEO, Pluralsight https://www.inc.com/aaron-skonnard/why-sales-commissions-don-t-work-in-the-long-run.html, Aron states: If you’re not doing what’s in your customers’ best interests, your business will ultimately fail. That’s why it’s important to look at the conflicts of interest that arise from driving short term sales v’s delivering life time value of a customer.
One of the many graduates I have hired reminded me the other day of a conversation I had with her about selling. The story was a boutique drinks company in Melbourne who wanted us to modify the code of our mobile application to replication SAP pricing. I explained to the CEO that the cost would be high due to the complexity and the maintenance with every release would also be costly. I can do it, but you will never be happy. My recommendation is that you use a XML call to the pricing in SAP so you are using the standard pricing algorithm in the SAP application, this would be cheaper to develop and lower cost to maintain. The CEO said XXX a competitor said they could do it. I responded, I would love to take the money from you to do the work, but I know you will never be happy with the ongoing costs and overhead, therefore I respectfully decline to bid. The call ended. My Sales person Ryan was in the room when I had the conversation, he was mortified, we have lost the deal. I responded, he would never be a happy customer and he would continually lose money on the deal, believe me we are better off without the sale.
Thirty minutes later the CEO of the drinks company rang, we want to work with you. You are a trusted partner, I want to work with someone who will do the best for the company.
Its time to rethink how we motivate sales teams if you want to build the life time value of customers.
All the focus on rebuilding trust, when the focus should be on how not to lose it in the first place.