The other day we held a series of offsite meetings to discuss sales tactics and techniques as well as reinforcing our corporate messaging and corporate sales cycle. As it turned out, in addition to a training exercise for staff about the best ways to sell, close, and introduce new business opportunities, we had a great thing happen in the company. We changed the way we talked about sales opoprtunities and we got everyone speaking the same language.
While it sounds simplistic, what I have found since that meeting is a tremendous change in the culture of the organization, a bonding of sorts, and a share thinking that is critical to an organization. For us, it is about talking about “features” versus “benefits” and “different tactics for close” and “the sales pyramid versus the sales funnel”. For other companies, the language of choice might be different. You might have your own language you want everyone speaking, I am not negating that at all here. Instead, I am suggesting that it is imperative for every CEO to instill a language in the organization that he / she leads and to make sure that language is shared and believed by all people in the organization.
We had that for a long time but recently fell into the trap of thinking that we needed to allow people to speak in their own language and to have their own unique way of doing things. What it led to was a sense of different factions, groups, and a clear disconnect in the conversations that people were having. Instead of a Shared Mindset we had a Team of Individuals. In some businesses a team of individuals might be the preferred model, but I suggest that every organization think long and hard about this and consider instead instilling a shared mindset and a same language phenomenon. For me, there is no question that the benefits of this shared thinking and language are clear and measurable.