UPDATE August 30, 2016: With all the distractions in the news about the 2016 presidential election, some people have mistaken my comments about hiring “culturally-aligned” employees as a discriminatory practice. I want to be explicit in saying that workplace diversity is as important as national diversity. I support diversity in the workplace and have served as an advocate of hiring diversity. People of all cultures, races, and creeds can share common workplace values and it is those workplace values that I refer to when I speak of hiring culturally-aligned employees. Workplace values such as customer appreciation, innovation, empathy, honesty, reliability, personal exceptionalism, etc. are the values that make up a “Company Culture”. A company culture is very different and distinct from a national, religious, racial, or ethnic culture.
Throughout my career I have been privileged to be coached and mentored by some of the top performers in sales, marketing, and human resources. I worked for companies that wrote the book on branding. I consulted with numerous organizations on business processes improvements. I advised senior executives on talent acquisition and retention and I helped companies refocus their company culture. With all this experience, I’ve synergized the best practices from these disciplines into an overall strategy for achieving peak performance in revenue generation and customer retention. It is important to note that a peak performance sales organization requires a peak performance organization creating and delivering the products and services being sold. The whole organization must support the sale with credible proof of the brand promise and it must follow through after the sale to deliver the promise. Failure at any point in the process undermines trust and erodes sales performance.
Is your brand “trusted”?
Most problems with lackluster sales can be traced to a lack of trust in the brand. Trust should be a primary goal of your selling and marketing activities. It is simple, when customers trust your brand they buy your products and services. Trust is both learned and earned. The first pillar of building trust is consistency; consistency in messaging, consistency in quality, consistency in fulfillment, and consistency in customer experience. When all arms of your organization work in harmony to deliver a consistent customer experience, trust is earned. Repetition of a consistent customer experience teaches your consumer to expect a similar result whenever they come into contact with your brand. Trust is created by the people in your organization. It begins with the people in your organization consistently delivering the promise of your brand. Therefore, every employee in your company from the CEO down to the receptionist is part of your sales and marketing team. It is critical that you hire the “right” people if you are going to build a high performance sales and marketing team.
Building a high performance sales and marketing team begins with a strong vision from your executive team and values-based hiring practices. Your executive team must set forth a written set of business values to form the foundation for your company culture then hire managers and workers whose personal value system aligns with the business values. When it comes to hiring employees, it is true that “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch”. This is especially true in leadership and sales roles. When employees personal values align with the company values, a culture is created where people are empowered to make good and desirable decisions. Employees don’t have to guess what the right thing to do is, they innately understand because of the company culture; a culture that aligns with their personal value system.
Next I’m going to share with you the keys to successfully hiring talent that will energize your organization and elevate it to peak performance. Then I’m going to show you how the “right” salespeople can leverage their instinct to reach peak performance using the savvy tools created by your marketing team.