4 Tips for Commercial Success: How to extend sales culture beyond the sales floor

What does it take for commercial success? The Senior Director of European Sales at GE Digital uncovers the main tips

Commercial Success

Commercial success describes an enterprise’s ability to generate the expected profit from its operations with all the resources it has at its disposal. Obviously, the logic of every profitable business is to be successful commercially.

Identifying commercial success

Commercial success requires more than just one single skillset. We all know the role isn’t just about closing deals. GE Digital know, because they’ve tried and tested most of the typical sales methodologies over the years, with the sole mission of identifying commercial success.

Indeed, as Senior Director of European Sales, Kim Matenchuck explained at the recent RevGen Insight Summit held in the Netherlands, true commercial success lies in greater collaboration.

GE Digital found boxing people into specific approaches, such as ‘the farmer’ (who keeps existing relationships alive) or ‘the hunter’ (who look out for new prospects) made them fall short. “It’s not about ‘Can he or she sell?’ but rather ‘do we have a balance of skills across the organisation?’,” explained Matenchuck.

Tips for commercial success

Kim Matenchuck had these top tips to share on getting all teams to contribute to commercial success:

1. Consider everyone as a salesperson

Even the most talented salespeople need support from other departments. Try creating teams which have representation from all departments – finance, legal, compliance, product management, marketing, communications and so on, eager to collaborate for commercial success. By combining their expertise in one deal-focused team, the emphasis stays on their one common goal: sales!

2. Recognise collaborative success

It’s not always the salesperson that is responsible for winning business. For example, certain deals will require input from other teams to win over a potential customer. Take entering into a new vertical or segment as an example. You’ll need a different sales approach which can be honed using expertise from other departments, such as marketing or product. When you recognise and celebrate the collaborative success of that team, you’re already on the path to changing the culture, where all staff are responsible for commercial success.

3. Address skillset gaps

Shadowing and short-term secondments can be incredibly effective for sharing knowledge both up and down the ladder. This also creates fluid relationships within teams and enables you to source answers and insights using in-house expertise.

4. Invest in the change management process

We all know that any culture change must keep the customer at the heart of the organisation. But how do you put it into practice?

While it’s not going to happen overnight and it takes time to make a shift in behaviour, you need people on board on an emotional level before you can make a change. In order to do so, start by considering the following:

  • Have you got high profile executive support?

When senior people show curiosity and interest in your staff’s efforts, you drive motivation among the teams.

  • Are you providing quality and continuous staff enablement?

If you’re consistent with your training efforts and you offer the opportunity for employees to put what they’ve learnt into practice, you’re on the right path to up-skilling your team members.

  • Do you offer shadowing opportunities?

While one to one shadowing takes more time and planning, it is almost always the most successful method for sharing and improving staff skillsets.

  • Are you too afraid of failure?

Test and learn strategies are excellent when it comes to implementing culture changes however, don’t always expect them to go perfectly the first time.

Relevant article: Marketers Talk Fundamentals of Digital Customer Journey at CMO Insight Summit

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