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Building trust is the foundational step to creating a plan for sales team motivation to maximize revenue.

In the last issue of Labels & Labeling, I shared ideas on changes in B2B selling and how sales leaders must understand individual motivations to successfully coach salespeople. With rapport and trust, sales leaders can motivate salespeople and improve sales results.

Beyond the effectiveness of your sales team, what else can leaders do to positively impact sales? Sales enablement is about how the entire company supports the sales process to cultivate more prospects, win new business, and deliver increased revenue. Leaders can acknowledge that sales revenues are the result of the combined efforts of every department in your company, not just the individual salesperson.

We are all in sales

How many people in your companies have said: ‘Well I’m not in sales. I never want to be in sales.’?

Common associations of a ‘salesperson’ remind us of pushy door-to-door salespeople or untrustworthy used-car salesmen.

In his bestselling book To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink reframes the definition of sales. Pink’s expanded definition includes any position where individuals spend a significant portion of time attempting to influence, sway or persuade others to take action. By this definition, we are all in sales.

Consider the daily tasks of your department and production managers. Your managers spent a good part of their days influencing, persuading and getting others to take action. Your estimators persuade sales and client service. Client service teams attempt to sway and influence customers. And production managers spend time getting others to act. One step towards creating a culture of sales enablement is gaining alignment that everyone needs effective skills in persuading and influencing others to do their job well. Everyone is in sales.

Create one team

Sales dumps and runs. Estimating doesn’t understand what the client wants. Production didn’t get the job done on time. Customer service didn’t write the order correctly. The invoice went out wrong. Do any of these comments sound like snippets of ongoing conversations in your plant?

Team alignment may be the hardest part of a leader’s job. Culture only lives in our conversations. Creating alignment will require more conversations and more communication so every department sees the value of the entire company, and every person sees the importance of their individual role. With a clarity of each individual’s responsibility, everyone can acknowledge their impact on other departments. Sales must be comfortable explaining new capabilities and translating capabilities into client value. Customer service needs to be able to articulate changes from the customers’ perspective. Estimating and production must see the sales and customer service teams as their internal clients.

“Employees in every department need reassurance that their work matters, and that they enable the company to grow and evolve”

Alignment means each department understands that the company wins when more products leave the building finished accurately, and on time. Alignment means each person does their job correctly so every other department can do their job correctly.

The ongoing commitment to communication and alignment supports a collective understanding of how each individual impacts company goals and lives your organization’s core values. Employees in every department need reassurance that their work matters, and that they enable the company to grow and evolve. When wins are celebrated by the company, not just the sales team, the company acknowledges the contributions of the entire team.

The possibility collaboration

As companies manage change to create a culture of sales enablement there are added benefits. If teams are experiencing blaming, miscommunication and frustration – it leads to a lack of cooperation. With alignment, internal departments experience cooperation, collaboration, mutual goal achievement and fewer nasty emails.

Because we are human, we will forget, and we will revert to old habits. Leaders must share their vision that the future looks bright and that it will be different than the recent past. Leaders impact results when every manager understands why your company is great, and how your company produces results for your customers.

When challenges arise, sales enablement in action is when multiple teams work together with trust to create the best impact for the customer and the company.