Aligning personal values and corporate values earns you sales. Misaligned values loses you sales, and may cost the sales person his job. Here are 4 true stories that practically illustrate why you should align salesperson and company values.
Case 1: The Preacher
We had to part ways. Was he competent? Absolutely! In fact, he was a rare find. It’s not easy to get effective sales trainers. We had been searching for a while so you can imagine how delighted (and relieved) we finally were to have unearthed this gem. So, what was the problem? Well, the man just had to preach during his sessions. Yup! Preach. In his eyes every gathering (professional or social) was a crusade. “If I train without quoting Scripture, it won’t be me in the training room because of my convictions…” And because this was inconsistent with us at Lend Me Your Ears, we had to part ways. A sales person will struggle (and face imminent ejection) when their personal values are misaligned to those of their company.
As a business owner, it’s essential to ensure that your sales team aligns with the values of your company. Your salesperson is the face of your business, an extension of your brand. Their actions directly impact the reputation of your brand. In fact, the values of your sales team can either make or break your company’s success. A salesperson who embodies the company’s values serves as an ambassador for the company and is more likely to contribute to its overall growth and success. So align salesperson and company values.
Case 2: Align salesperson and company values. Corporate fraud
Sales people have a unique role in an organization. They are responsible for building relationships with prospects, identifying their needs, and persuading them to make a purchase. If the values of your sales team do not align with your company’s values, they may engage in unethical behaviour, such as using high-pressure sales tactics or making false promises to close deals. This can damage the reputation of your brand and ultimately lead to a loss of customers and revenue. But if that misbehaviour is consistent with the corporate one, then they will thrive. As in the case of Wells Fargo Bank whose organizational culture of greed, facilitated the opening of two MILLION fraudulent accounts. Again, however, when Wells Fargo was outed, all 5300 sales people were fired.
Ultimately, salesperson and company value alignment can lead to better sales results. When salespeople are aligned with the company’s values, they will be able to sell the company’s products or services more effectively, resulting in higher revenue and profitability. Wells Fargo is a proof that this consistency applies negatively too. Mercifully, not sustainably.
It’s essential to hire salespeople who not only have the necessary skills and experience but more importantly also align with your company’s values. During the hiring process, consider assessing the candidate’s alignment with your values and their commitment to ethical behaviour. Admittedly, as a recruiter I know it’s not a science. So do a background check if you must. Providing ongoing training and development opportunities to your sales team can also help reinforce your company’s values and ensure they are adhered to.
Case 3: The Self Righteous
“Imagine, Juma refused the account. We gave it to someone else but started questioning whether we wanted to continue working with Juma.” This was shared by a client in market research. They had just landed a huge contract spanning several countries across all of Africa. It was any sales person’s dream. So why did Juma, this sales person, decline to engage the new customer? “Because they sell sin. Tobacco is sin. I cannot help them research the market so that they can spread the sin.” And so, the Head of Sales gave the account to another sales person.
A good salesperson understands the value of aligning their personal values with those of the company they represent. This alignment not only leads to a successful sale but also contributes to the overall growth of the company. If, for whatever reason, you cannot do this as a sales person, then get out quickly. Go sell elsewhere that’s more consistent with your values. And I mean well when I say that. If you don’t, two things are likely to happen. Because of being conflicted, your sales and service performance dwindles and you are stressed, and likely fired; or, the company values change you into something you may not have wanted to be. Never underestimate the influence of the company you keep. See what happens when leaders in this country become politicians.
Case 4: It’s just a dog!
“Zeus passed away yesterday,” the clearly grieving customer informs the new sales person. “We are holding a funeral service and thereafter we cremate him. We’d like you to attend.” “What?” the sales person responds incredulously. “A funeral service! Zeus, is just a dog!” The already grieving pet owner is crushed. To him Zeus is not a dog; Zeus is a child; a member of her family.” She starts rethinking the relationship she thought she had with the pet food store and makes a mental note to inform the owner of this sales person’s callousness.
By the way, if you were the sales person, how would you have responded?
Align salesperson and company values
In conclusion, align salesperson and company values. The alignment of values between your sales team and your company is critical to the success of your business. Salespeople who align with your company’s values will help to create a friction-free customer experience, build trust and credibility, and increase sales and revenue. On the other hand, salespeople who do not align with your company’s values can damage the reputation of your brand, resulting in lost customers and revenue. So, make sure to hire salespeople who align with your company’s values and provide ongoing training to reinforce these values.
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