By Victor Arocho
Any sale — from the smallest consumer item to the largest enterprise-wide solution imaginable — is about much more than simply providing a product or service. A sale is really about delivering a promise to the customer. Unfortunately, many companies have no idea what their sales promise is. Sure, they may have a company vision or a mission statement, but those things usually don’t address the specific processes the company uses to deliver value to its customers.
A true sales promise goes way beyond a tangible deliverable. It’s about the customer’s interaction with your company throughout the sales cycle. It’s a sense that everyone from every department is aligned on customer satisfaction. It’s about the service and interaction with the company after the sale. It’s about making customers feel confident that your company as a whole — not just a single product, service or salesperson — can deliver the results the customer wants ... exceed expectations.
In essence, it takes every single department to fulfill your company’s sales promise. When you actively define the promise you want to make to your customers, and then make sure everyone in the company knows what that promise is, you can deliver on your promise and exponentially grow your sales.
So, what’s your company’s sales promise? Following are some suggestions for making sure your sales promise is crystal clear.
Define your promise to your customers. In order to deliver on a promise, you first have to know what the promise is. Get the various departments together and ask them, “What do we want our customers to experience as a result of working with us? What do we want our promise to be?" Then listen to the issues or expectations each department brings up.
Having this conversation in a group format with the various departments represented is crucial, because people need to see how the different departments work together to deliver on the promise. Of course the billing department wants to send out accurate invoices and reminders, the engineering department wants to create workable solutions and the shipping department wants things shipped on time. But if no one sees how their process impacts another department’s process, then the process as a whole will break down — along with the sales promise.
Therefore, after you define the promise in general terms, pay attention to the small details of the promise. Look at everything, including customer callback times, product turnaround times, billing cycles, shipping times, customer service follow-up, etc. Be specific. Simply saying, “We promise to call customers back quickly" is not specific. What is quickly? One hour? Four hours? Two days? Without the details defined, it’s easy to break the sales promise.