What does it take to be a truly customer focused organisation whilst also achieving revenue growth and the necessary profit margins to service capital and shareholders?
How do you shift an existing corporate structure and culture to create a shift from an internally, quarter focused budget achiever towards a customer centric sales culture?
If that is possible, how do you approach current or future resource utilisation so customers benefit from the strengths of the organisation, without taking too much risk or threatening what the organisation has already achieved, or is capable of delivering?
Let’s start with a possible definition of a customer focused sales culture by drawing on some excellent 2014 analysis by MHI Global (https://www.mhiglobal.com/knowledge_center/sales-performance/sales_performance_research/2014-miller-heiman-sales-best-practices-study-exec)
This study focused on three categories of sales behaviour that form the basis for a performance-oriented sales culture. A culture that knows:
This becomes the framework for a client focused sales performance culture, as illustrated:
Customer at the Core establishes an often elusive basis for the culture shift from internal thinking towards a customer centric sales culture. A key differentiator here is an ability to Provide Perspective to the client that is driven by their needs, our industry knowledge and business acumen through insightful client discussion which create value.
Conscious Collaboration builds on Customer at the Core and considers the client’s total business environments, needs and the potential match between these needs and the strengths of their organisation. Conscious Collaboration always looks for a Win/Win and constantly scans a client’s ever changing business environment for opportunities to create value.
Performance Accountability involves what many may consider to be unique: a culture where individuals look to be held accountable for the quality and delivery of customer solution (Source 2014 MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study).
As Tamara establishes “Customer Core Enablement goes an extra step from sales enablement by creating a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated customer driven content, training and coaching for client and sales people and their managers along the entire customer’s journey, that is powered by technology” (https://www.csoinsights.com/blog/july-2015/evolving-enablement-to-sales-force-enablement-the).
So, as you read Tamara’s contributions and my observations in these posts, have a think through your own challenges and opportunities – my aim is to help you challenge your strategic sales objectives to deliver greater levels of customer value in a resource constrained world.
Phil Hunt, MBA