Nothing happens in any business until a sale is made. There is no order to fulfill, no customer to serve, no money to count. So who do you entrust with this all-important job? Everyone.
Sounds like a great concept, but when you have a full-time professional sales force that is admired throughout the world, getting the company to believe that everyone can and should sell is no simple task. However, what I have seen is an untapped resource of field personnel that are so much more than cogs in the machine.
An Untapped Resource
Managed services organizations employ thousands of people on client sites across the country to handle entry-level tasks like printing, copying, and mail handling. Field service organizations have personnel that make nearly 70 visits to client sites every month and have the opportunity to see good and bad implementations. Many of these employees have strong client relationships and a firsthand knowledge of client needs. In fact, some have reached the highly sought after “trusted advisor” status with the client. So who better to task with identifying opportunities to expand your services?
To take advantage of this opportunity, however, you will need to transform the culture. You’ll need to develop incentives that are clearly linked to individual and team performance. You will also need to establish a carefully articulated career path so your best performers can envision a bright future with your company.
Next, you’ll have to start sharing business facts with your team. Facts like detailed account information that will help them to understand all of the basic business issues just as well as your full-time sales reps. You should also consider sales training to help them learn how to spot opportunities for new business. You can read more about Long-Term Talent Management Strategies here.
You may be surprised to find that many of these operational employees have more insight into client needs than your local sales reps. And, once unleashed, watch how they take advantage of that knowledge to help grow the size of their accounts.
Unleashing a Natural Salesman
One of the most charismatic sales people I have ever met was a dedicated, on-site service employee who was given the training, opportunity, and encouragement to develop his entrepreneurial skills.
Most employees were content to work their way through a client’s building, repairing equipment and completing miscellaneous tasks. This young man was different. He took the time to get to know people and learn about their jobs. And by using his natural people skills, he discovered opportunities for us to do more for his customers and generate more revenue in the process.
By expanding the role of operational staff to include a secondary sales responsibility, you will be able to significantly increase adoption of your services and drive incremental revenue. The best part – you’ll have plenty of money to count, orders to fulfill and customers to serve.
About the Author
Vele Galovski is vice president of research, Field Services, for TSIA. Using his nearly 30 years of industry experience, he has consistently helped companies both large and small drive double-digit top-line growth with a proven retain, gain, and grow strategy. Vele has also written a book, The Perpetual Innovation Machine, which describes a holistic approach to management based on ambitious goal setting, data driven analysis, skillful prioritization, inspiring leadership, and the lost art of employee engagement. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org