Sales culture: Trust and empower your team to make mistakes and learn

Natural Showcase: Companies are too focused on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of their company, and don’t spend nearly enough time on the ‘why’. Paul Owen’s seminar at our Natural Showcase last month shed some light on the importance of a company’s culture and showed just how useful it can be in motivating the sales team.

When a new recruit joins your company, what kind of information are they given before they start work? Training, all too often, relies on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ of a job role – what to do and how to do it – but not the ‘why’.

This, as Paul Owen (pictured, left), creator of the Let’s get Britain selling programme and member of the Natural Training team, argued in his session, is the most important factor of all.

The ‘why’ is the reason your company was founded. It’s the difference it makes to the world. It sums up your ethos, your aims and your goals, he told delegates to the November Natural Training Showcase.

Set your values

Paul Owen cited Disney Studios co-founder Roy Disney as saying, “it’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are”, which was met with a room of nodding heads. Values, Paul added, lie at the very heart of company culture development.

Beyond the obvious objectives like increasing profits and revenue, employees cannot be said to be serving the interests of the company. They, with particular reference to the sales team, must collectively understand what they are working towards. If an employee is well-versed in company culture they can truly be said to be working for the business and will start to feel valued – like they are making a difference, the Natural Showcase delegates were told.

The importance of trust

Moving back into the sales environment, Paul’s session then focused on how modern sales teams are typically overly instructed and given narrow boundaries with little responsibility. This lack of trust can often decrease motivation, and give employees more scope to act and make decisions that are not in the interests of their employer, manager or head of department. Delegates were clearly warned to choose the right people, teach them the culture of the company, and empower them.

Then, to close, Paul told attendees to be under no illusion with sales staff. “If you trust your employees and let them make decisions, there will be instances where they get things wrong, but a few mistakes are natural, and learning from these mistakes will make them competent, engaging and most importantly, focused sales people,” he explained.

Paul Owen was involved in the creation of the new sales training book by Natural Training, The Natural Sales Evolution. To order a copy of our new book or to download free chapters click here now.

Alternatively, talk to the Natural Training team on 0207 043 1582 or by emailing to hear more about our innovative approach to equipping sales teams with the right selling strategies for 2013.

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