Written By: Colleen Stanley
Sales cultures scoring low in emotional intelligence are filled with old sales dogs that refuse to learn new tricks. They sit on the porch of denial, refusing to adapt new approaches to selling.
Sales organizations are always looking for ways to grow their top and bottom line. They install the latest and greatest CRM tool, invest money in customer surveys, and their marketing department is tweeting, hooting, and blogging.
With this proactive approach towards growth, what is the reason many sales organizations still struggle to achieve their quota?
Maybe the problem isn’t in technology or marketing. Perhaps the problem is your sales culture. Webster’s Dictionary defines culture as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices.
A culture determines how you treat your employees, your customers, and how you contribute to the community at large.
Sales cultures scoring low in emotional intelligence are filled with old sales dogs that refuse to learn new tricks.
They sit on the porch of denial, refusing to adapt new approaches to selling. Many have sales lone rangers that care only about their quota and their commission check.
They are not really interested in how their specific actions or inactions affect the company. Lone rangers seldom contribute at a sales meeting because helping others isn’t in their DNA.
Just the opposite, emotionally intelligent sales cultures share three common traits.
They are open to learning, collaborative, and generous. Let’s examine each area as it relates to sales success.
Good salespeople consider themselves part of the leadership team at their organizations; even if there is no “C” in their title.
These salespeople are on a constant journey of personal and professional improvement. In the emotional intelligence world, this is referred to as self-actualization.
These salespeople are focused on improvement. They become subject matter experts in order to better serve their clients. They’re the walking and talking sponges.
They read, listen to audiobooks, and seek out mentors. As a result, they bring more value to each sales meeting because they are not stagnant in their approach or knowledge of business.
The emphasis on learning generally starts at the top.
At a recent sales training kick-off, my client, a very successful CEO, said it best:
“You know, our customers need a lot of help. And I realized that in order for you to better serve your customers, I needed to invest in sales training. In the end we will all win. We have happy clients, happy salespeople and….a happy CEO.”
Think about your business. Is it the same as it was two years ago? Is it going to be the same one year from now?
If you don’t have a culture that embraces learning, your best chance for success is that hoping your competitor has a stagnant approach to learning.
Alvin Toffler, an American author, sums up learning with a great quote:
“The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write. It is those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
These organizations realize that it takes a “sales village” to compete in a global environment. Yes, a salesperson closes the business, but it takes a team to ensure that the company keeps the business.
There are technicians that install the product, the accounting department issues accurate invoices and customer service provides excellent service after the sale. Everyone works together to create a great client experience.
In my younger years in sales, I had the good fortune of working people that valued teamwork. The veterans took time out of their busy schedules to answer questions (dumb questions), and share best practices of selling and servicing customers.
They did this without recognition or reward. It was good people helping other people succeed. And we did.
This company is now the largest in the world in their industry. As legendary NBA star Michael Jordon said, “There is no “I” in team. There is in win.”
They recognize that to whom much is given, much is expected. I live in Denver, Colorado and each year there is a contest for best places to work.
It’s fun to read the reviews about the winners and the many things they do to make their work environment enjoyable. Some provide a weekly free lunch, while others wrap up the week with beer Friday.
While there are many different ideas for creating a good work environment, the majority of these organizations share a common theme. They are generous and give time and money to philanthropic causes.
Research shows that when people give back to others, it increases an individual’s happiness.
Common sense tells you that prospects and customers prefer a happy salesperson over a scrooge salesperson. Emotionally intelligent cultures promote purpose and profits.
Improve your top and bottom line by making your sales culture more emotionally intelligent. Promote learning, collaboration and generosity.
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership Inc., a business development consulting firm specializing in…
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