My Internal Staff Hate My Sales People
In many companies, the top salespeople are hated internally. As business owners and CEO’s we cannot accept this as a way of life. When I first started my business career, I was told that 70% of my time was needed to sell the idea to my company and only 30% the customer. That’s just plain wrong. Disconnect between sales and internal staff takes a tremendous toll on management, and is very costly to the organization in customer loyalty, personnel loyalty, and response time. Why does this happen and what can we as business owners do?
The Costly Disconnect Between Sales and Internal Staff
Mary Henry of HR on Demand related that she recently worked with a client and interviewed the employees to see if there were any disconnects in the sales process. The production team said that sales promised specs that were unrealistic. Shipping can’t get it delivered on time. And when I asked the sales team if they were aware of the problems, they said yes they were aware, but if it was not for sales, there would be no orders.
Yet, almost every sales person I know will say that building relationships based on respect and trust is the determining factor for their success. Sales people spend hours getting to know the client, learning how they built their business, talking with the staff and understanding the competition. Yet they do not spend 1 hour building the relationships with internal staff.
How To Build Bridges for a Winning Corporate Culture
So who is responsible for building that bridge and driving that culture? Everyone is responsible for making the relationships work. Each department should understand the impact of their actions on the total process. All departments should have an equal vested interest in the company success and their goals and compensation should all be aligned to achieve the company results.
There are several approaches to this seemingly universal problem.
- Find the unofficial leader in each group. Bring them together to discuss collaborative solutions. This will help resolve the inside-out perspective.
- Encourage sales to bring internal staff whether it is a CFO, Production Manager, or customer service person on Sales calls. This not only helps them have a deeper in understanding of the customer. The added benefit is the customers realize that there is a team and force behind the salesperson.
- Require your salespeople to spend a day working for the different departments. This will give them a deeper understanding of the company, and an appreciation of the job necessary to have things run smoothly.
- Have regular team meetings to discuss the progress and have open suggestions to move forward. Make sure that there are specific actions with time lines.
You as the business owner or CEO have to show your complete commitment to making the company a well-oiled team. It starts at the very top of the organization. Companies that build a culture of excellence work at it every day.