Richard Lane imagines what the work environment would be like if everyone communicated as well as sales people.
Imagine if you could infect the rest of the business with the same energy, drive, enthusiasm and camaraderie that inhabits the best sales teams.
I would argue the qualities exhibited by sales people who have been effectively developed and inspired to perform well and hit targets could be invaluable for the development of the entire organisation as a whole.
For example, one reason sales professionals get what they want when they want is by being excellent communicators. Members of the finance team could be taught to articulate messages clearly and break them down so others can understand and digest the detail. The less resistance to the kind of pay and benefit changes that are necessary to keep the business afloat in the current climate, the better. Developing a sales mindset could be the answer.
Right now, finance professionals also face the challenge of communicating the auto-enrolment of employees into workplace pensions, which became law for the largest employers at the beginning of the month. In order to implement auto-enrolment effectively finance and HR professionals will need to clearly communicate the changes and illustrate benefits of saving for retirement, otherwise many will just consider the money coming off their pay slip as an unwanted tax and simply opt out. Is the message being delivered in the best way possible?
"...the qualities exhibited by sales people who have been effectively developed and inspired to perform well and hit targets could be invaluable for the development of the entire organisation as a whole."
Develop a target-driven organisation
Another discipline instilled in all successful sales teams is the ability to work to challenging targets, which are aligned to the wider business strategy and financial goals. Employees in all departments, whether they work in communications, marketing, product development or procurement would benefit from sharpening this discipline on meeting deadlines and hitting targets in a pressured environment.
In addition, the healthy level of competition sales staff have with their colleagues could be mirrored to good effect and improve performance and productivity in other areas of the business. When working on time-consuming projects, for example, employees can lose focus and need to be taught to structure their work around short and long-term goals. It is critical the energy and momentum is sustained. This can also be achieved by looking at methods deployed by the sales team.
Sales training can be used to: improve results across the business; make people work more effectively; energise teams and get people thinking about the best ways to achieve their and their company's goals.
Whatever sector someone works in it is likely that they will need to negotiate to get funding for projects or get buy-in from the board on an idea. Everyone in business needs the ability to pitch and convince others that their ideas are valuable and worth listening to.
Sales people are faced with this challenge every day, and coaching others in these skills is not only good for their own careers it is also important to maximise innovation and creative output, allowing the organisation to develop, grow and create a credible threat to competitors.
Richard Lane is from sales training and consultancy company durhamlane