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Marketing & Sales | 3 min read

Create a Winning Sales Culture in 3 Simple Steps

sales-300.jpgIt’s not always an easy task to get your employees to sell the products and services your business offers, especially if you didn’t hire them for their sales experience, but rather for their customer service skills or knowledge of the industry. However, the truth is simple—your customers are going to purchase the products and services you offer from somewhere, so why shouldn’t they purchase these things from you?

If you don’t have a motivated sales staff and a positive sales environment, your customers will go elsewhere. It’s crucial that your employees realize the value of sales within your organization. But, if you’re having trouble getting them on the selling bandwagon, we have a few tips on how to get them motivated.

1. Turn your salespeople into consultants

Salespeople are often perceived in a dark light, and the term “sales” itself has somewhat of a negative connotation. The mere mention of the word often conjures up images of greedy, overpowering, and over-caffeinated salespeople pressuring vulnerable consumers into buying things they don’t need. It’s easy to understand why employees wouldn’t want to be associated with such negativity, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Educate your employees about your products, and they will educate your customers. If employees feel like they are consulting or teaching customers about various offerings, they won’t feel like they are being stereotypical, pushy salespeople. This will require you to invest time and energy into education. You must educate your staff not only about your products but also on the quality and value they have to offer. For example, if your business provides quality, competitively priced automotive parts to consumers, your employees should know how to educate people on the value and importance of having safe, reliable transportation, without paying dealer prices.

The more your employees understand and have the ability to “test-drive” a product, the more likely they will feel comfortable offering it to your customers.

2. Assess your staff’s skills to identify training opportunities

Not only is it important that you educate your employees so they can become product experts, but it’s also crucial that you know they possess the skills to be effective consultants. Assessing the skills and knowledge of your sales team on a regular basis is an essential part of job training and will help you identify areas that need improvement. Consultative selling is not something that people instinctively know how to do. Not everyone can interact with and engage customers in a way that makes them feel as though they are making the right choice to purchase a product or service from your business, but this is a skill that can be taught. When you know the weaknesses of your staff, you can focus training on those areas to help them become more effective and more confident salespeople.

3. Offer Incentives 

Another way to get your staff excited about selling is to do it the old-fashioned way. Bribe them. Now-a-days this is known as an incentive—rewarding those who perform, or in this case, sell. Getting your executive team on board to promote an incentive program throughout the company is a great way to increase the level of excitement about the challenge. Nothing is a bigger motivator than getting a chance to earn a gift card or having your name prominently displayed under the title “Top Performers” on the break room wall. You could even say that an incentive does double-duty. It’s also a great way to show your top performers how much you appreciate the hard work they put in every day, and it motivates others to desire similar recognition. 

Motivating your staff and creating a positive and effective sales culture is something that is critical, not only for the morale of your team, but also for the financial health and growth of your business. This doesn’t mean that you must groom cut-throat, die-hard salespeople, but rather encourage and educate your staff to become effective consultative sellers, as well as product experts. This will most likely ensure the growth and future success of your business.

What are some ways that you motivate your team to be better consultative sellers? Let us know in the comments below! 

This post was originally featured on SWBC's LenderHub blog.

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Marketing & Sales

Mark Hein

As CEO of SWBC's Financial Institution Group, Mark manages the day-to-day operations and sets the strategic direction for the division. He is committed to continuous product training, increased premium penetration, and support of the sales staff with a high level of service to ensure the success of our credit union program. He also embraces the philosophy of creating true partnerships with our financial institution clients.

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