Case Study: When your project backfires (and why)

Ellen, who runs a small manufacturing company, created new accountability tools to track weekly sales. It seemed like a good idea, but she got tremendous pushback from the sales team.

“All you care about is sales and profits!” they complained. Salespeople felt pressured to upsell whenever possible. They worried about damaging customer relationships simply for financial gain.

By shifting perspective, the team began to recognize the value of their role within the company.

When Ellen contacted me, she was baffled. I asked how she rolled out the new accountability plan. “I put a new database on our server, and asked the team to enter the number of calls they made, how much they sold – all the usual stuff,” she said.

The problem, as happens in many cases, came down to communication. Ellen’s presentation of the new program appeared to leave client satisfaction out of the sales process. And this was a company that prided itself on excellent customer service.

I suggested a shift in perspective. Instead of just bringing in revenue, the sales staff needed to recognize that the products they sold were of VALUE to the customer.

“Your sales team needs to see themselves as problem solvers,” I said. “They aren’t just selling – they are offering solutions to issues that the customer is experiencing.”

By reframing the new sales goals as supporting customers, rather than making money, Ellen was able to help the sales team recognize the value of their role within the company.

Just four months after sharing this new perspective, the sales team beat all their goals. And they retained their satisfied customers!

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

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