All growing businesses want to encourage their sales team to hustle and sell more services. There is nothing wrong with asking your sales staff to push your products aggressively. However, you are going to want to make sure that they aren’t going to do anything that could damage the reputation of your business. Here are some safeguards you may want to consider to protect your business from a lawsuit or fine:
- Set guidelines on all promises and guarantees. Make sure your sales staff understand how guidelines and guarantees work. They can never make promises that they will not be able to live up to or that the company hasn’t sanctioned.
- Make sure your sales team understands how exceptions work. There should ideally be an approval system in place to handle any requests for exceptions.
- Require all paperwork to be filled out in a timely manner. Customers can forget what they have ordered or try to game the system. Make sure your sales team understands that everything has to be in writing. This is necessary to both protect themselves and the company.
- Ensure clients can reach you if they have concerns. Your clients need to be able to raise any discrepancies with their order and the terms they feel they agreed to. Always have the paperwork on hand to make sure that you can compare their claims to the terms of the contract they have signed.
- Track sales progress. Keep clear records that detail how many sales your team closes and how many of them actually go through. In some lines of business, about 40% of orders will be canceled. Make sure you have a clear benchmark to compare your results against. If your team isn’t closing sales well or you have an abnormal number of cancellations, then you need to find out why.
- Understand what your sales team is selling. Some sales professionals will engage in unscrupulous practices that could get your company in a lot of trouble. One salesperson I knew worked for a cable provider and would always take the customers boxes when he filled a new order. The installation team would need to charge the customer for a new box, which subsequently increased his commissions. Make sure that you follow what your team is pushing to make sure they aren’t taking advantage of unwitting customers.
A number of problems can arise as your sales team begins to expand their efforts and reach new customers. Protect your company by making sure that you understand the practices they are following.
Kalen Smith is an experienced business and marketing writer. He currently works with Sales Drive where he writes about their sales drive test.