There are many important sectors that drive a successful business. While these divisions all play a specific role in bringing company goals to fruition, one can be viewed as a general catch-all applied to all employees: sales. Every employee essentially acts as a walking advertisement for your company’s offerings and services, regardless of their position or ability.

Changing the culture

With this concept in mind, a common mistake made by entrepreneurs is assuming all revenues are controlled “by the sales team–and only the sales team.” In reality, salespeople–helpful as they are–only represent one part of your company, and while their skills continue to serve as necessities to corporate fluency and transaction, they also stand as a rough template for how all employees should approach company-customer interaction. As Alice Heiman of Alice Heiman LLC points out: “everyone who comes into contact with the customer has the opportunity to make or break that relationship. That is sales.”

Successful entrepreneurs and CEOs avoid this mistake by implementing an “everybody sells” sales culture, where 100 percent of the company’s staff develop and maintain a sales-oriented mentality. This approach strives not to undermine or overstate any individual part of a company, but to remind leaders that each of their workers has personal and professional connections–all accessible through a variety of mediums ranging from word-of-mouth to social media.

Through proper education of the company’s brand or initiative, your employees will be versed enough to potentially spread the word in any social scenario.

Sales-specific hiring

Heiman also suggests tailoring aspects of your hiring process to an “everybody sells” mentality. As you interview potential employees for any position within the company, ask them questions such as:

  • “How would you promote this company to your friends?
  • Take a look at this product (or service), what would be some ideas for selling it?
  • How do you see your role assisting with sales and interacting with the sales team?”

Implementing these types of questions may not necessarily yield sales savvy hybrid employees every time, but it will give you a good idea of each interviewee’s incoming skill-set while remaining consistent with the “everybody sells” blueprint.

Remembering success

Like any business-related initiative, your company’s success should be the main goal of your newfound “everybody sells” approach. Make sure that all your employees are aware of how sales-specific thinking and interaction can contribute to the company’s overall success–otherwise it may be hard for them to see the relevance in doing so. Perhaps tie sales success to individual pay or earned benefits to spur additional employee participation.
Regardless of how you implement sales culture, take time to reflect on its constructive purpose–and celebrate success where necessary.