Salespeople can be the most important employees in a company. They talk to customers every day, know exactly what tricks the competition is using, and are the voice of the firm’s brand. A company’s success is tied to the success of its sales teams.
But companies can have wildly different views of sales teams. These are a few examples, but it’s easy to see how these perceptions of sales teams can affect a company’s success:
When companies consider sales teams the enemy, it’s usually because the priorities of the company and the teams aren’t aligned. They’re constantly working against each other, and setting goals can be like going to war.
After months of careful planning, marketing can find itself throwing campaigns out the window if suddenly sales says they need to change focus. Sales being perceived as disrupters usually means that reactive thinking prevails at a company, making proactive planning impossible.
Sales teams just go wild at these companies. They break all the rules, promise things that can’t be delivered, and live outside the boundaries established by company norms. Organizations with a renegade team also have internal frustration because it’s almost impossible for true collaboration.
These sales teams are acting as business partners, pulling information from the field and stewarding it back to the corporate office. They’re not just involved in upfront planning, but they also participate in execution and collecting results. Sales teams who are thinkers bring more than monetary value to the company — they bring impact and engagement. Everyone from marketing to production wants to work with a thinking sales team, and those sales teams want to work with everyone.
Before embarking on any new sales strategy, companies should understand the type of team they have. Processes and communication styles can help compensate when sales teams and organizations don’t see eye to eye. And with the right mix of planning, training, collaboration, and team development, companies can embrace and benefit from a truly valuable sales team.
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