Before the pandemic, I spoke to a company that asked for my help conducting a 3-day sales training event because they were concerned about their salespeople’s seeming inability to work together, get motivated, and generate enough sales.
After talking to the VP of Sales for less than twenty minutes, it was immediately apparent that no amount of training would instantly solve their problems. Still, they insisted on putting their team through a 3-day sales training. After that, they decided to book someone else (who was considerably less costly, the VP told me.)
Shortly after the training date (which did happen), they called me back. We worked together and still work together to this day. They finally realized the problems had very little to do with the sales team.
The big issue was really in communication across the entire company, from leadership to customer-facing employees.
They were using all kinds of hot project management tools and sexy team collaboration/chat tools, but in the end, things were being missed. People weren’t picking up the phone.
Discussions were being avoided in exchange for a few lines of text.
Email exchanges were considerably reduced, which was great, but so was the client’s experience.
Things that should have been communicated and expressed to the clients weren’t happening. Things the management team assumed happened every time as part of the client experience weren’t getting done.
The solution was simple.
Communicate more, not less.
A single customer project had many moving parts from when the prospect expressed interest until the sale was made until the project was successfully delivered.
Are you communicating with your customers enough?
I’ve been known to quiz a prospective client or two with the following challenge:
Look at your top 1-2% of clients and tell me this.
Can you tell me unequivocally, without question, the last time they bought from your company, or the last time they were spoken to, by whom, and the context of that conversation?
How long would it take you to find that information?
In most cases, specifically, you want more context, not less, when it comes to your most valuable customers.
These thing matters to keep your company’s heart beating healthy and strong.
For the past fifteen months, you had to do what you had to do to survive.
Now, it’s time to start doing what you need to do to grow.