Vision Drives Culture, Culture Drives Sales
Every successful leader knows that sales growth becomes possible when the organization’s vision drives the culture. Many financial institutions misinterpret the drive to achieve sales growth as the organization’s vision. When this happens, selling becomes the vision and service becomes lost. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in either. If your organization does not clearly focus its vision on service, no amount of effort and expense at creating a dynamic, results-based sales culture will bring long-lasting growth or success.
A best practice for driving growth is to rally your leadership team around a three-dimensional lens for what sales growth looks like. The practice emphasizes the significance of knowing a) how a selling strategy will impact employees, and b) how a commitment to their success will drive the organization.
1. Deeper relationships drive sales growth
Money motivates most sales-based employees. As a result, sales incentive plans play a critical role in achieving growth goals; however, an incentive plan will never fix or replace poor sales and service behaviors. Exceptional sales and service behaviors are what deepen relationships with customers.
One highlight from Raddon’s 2017 Relationship Survey research demonstrates how employees contribute to the overall affinity of an institution’s highly loyal base. Raddon asked respondents to indicate the importance of various attributes of the service experience and then to rate the performance of their institution on those same items. Elements they consider “extremely important” and rate as “excellent” are “differentiators.” Differentiating elements help the organization stand apart from their competitors in terms of service.
Raddon research indicates that for the highly loyal segment, the attributes that correspond to the interactions with employees at the institution are differentiators. The data suggest that these attributes – including employee skill, understanding of products and services, politeness/friendliness, understanding issues, accuracy and approachability – are all contributing factors to the strong relationship with the highly-loyal segment. In today’s “high-tech/high-touch” world, this finding solidifies the notion of employees being a critical part of nurturing and enhancing customer engagement, which in turn feeds growth.
2. Increased sales activities drive sales growth
If you have a sales incentive plan for your sales team, or are thinking about creating an incentive plan, include goals at the activity level and do not simply reward results. When you reward the consistent effort of asking for referrals and setting appointments, your sales team understands that the organization values the development of individual’s work toward mastery.
According to Raddon’s Employee Viewpoint Survey research, top-performing organizations better understand the importance of asking for the business in every discussion with customers. Top performing organizations (as measured through Raddon’s Performance Analytics program), score on average about 14% higher on the attribute “Asking for the business is part of all product discussion.” These results demonstrate the mastery of the skill and the importance of focusing on and promoting these types of behaviors for both sales representatives and sales managers.
3. Sensible scrutiny drives sales growth
The best time to do a sensible scrutiny of a sales incentive plan is before you release it. Your money-motivated sales team will inevitably look for ways to maximize their financial reward. This often translates to them finding creative ways to “beat the system” and break your incentive budget. You want their enthusiastic participation to work in your favor, not against you. Moreover, putting in place tracking mechanisms and monitoring systems will demonstrate your commitment to behaviors that match your core values.
This three-dimensional lens helps leaders demonstrate the value of service excellence over sales goals. When an organization has won at service excellence, their success with sales growth is unstoppable.
Need help with sales and service training? Center for Practical Management is a Raddon business partner, helping financial institutions transform the way people manage. Training & Development solutions equip financial institutions to assess their sales incentive programs and provide leadership development programs for managers to more effectively communicate and coach sales people.
Survey Services from Raddon deliver the insights to help understand the perceptions of customers, employees and the market so you can make better decisions and reach your revenue and growth objectives. Results show how to improve existing relationships, build loyalty and maximize revenue potential for key segments.