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Modern Selling is Trust Inside and Out

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Written by: Philip Hesketh

Employee trust in their organisation is affected by their leadership and is critical to maximise employee motivation, engagement and to align employees with company goals and objectives.

Research tells us that only 51 percent of employees trust their senior management, and only 28 percent believe CEOs are a credible source of information.

Is it really true that many CEOs don’t really believe that internal organisational trust is directly connected to their company’s bottom line and instead believe that trust is merely a “social virtue?”

Secondly, trust extends outside the organisation too.  We have also seen research that asked hundreds of technology buyers who evaluated a SaaS software product why then didn’t end up buying it.  Executives cited that the #1 reason they didn’t buy was a lack of trust and respect for the salesperson they were working with.

Without internal trust within an organisation surely you are encouraging a ‘just turn up and do minimum’ mentality?

‘Employee engagement’ being hard wired to ‘Customer loyalty/experience’ is becoming the topic of the day.  With disengaged employees, how can an organisation be deluded to think that this will not affect customer loyalty and ultimately the bottom line? Engaged employees who are motivated and believe in what they do can have an infectious positive impact on customers, leading to customer buy-in and loyalty.

This engagement can be seen externally with the posts, articles, blog and Vlogs engaged employees produce.  Not the re-share of the corporate post, but their own enthused opinion on the environment they operate in.  This doesn’t have to be the domain of the sales team, all departments can engage on social.  They then become advocates for the organisation.

Disengagement occurs when people put in enough effort to avoid getting fired but don’t contribute their talent, creativity, energy or passion.  Gallup’s research puts a cost of $250 billion to $300 billion a year on the cost of disengagement and that is the bill just for the American workplace.

Related: Why Corporate Content Doesn’t Work

So what can the senior leadership do to inject trust into their organisation?

We suggest lead by example and be an advocate of trust instead of an obstacle. See leadership as “getting results in a way that inspires trust” through character, competence and demonstrated behaviour and align organisational systems and structures around trust.

In the words of Campbell Soup CEO Doug Conant, “The first thing for any leader is to inspire trust.” 

To develop high-trust relationships with your clients, you must address trust within your organisation first.  Allowing employees, the freedom and trust to express themselves on social platforms is a great way to engender greater trust.

Engaged sales people who trust their leadership feel comfortable in a transparent culture where leaders, customers and peers operate in an open environment. This encourages development through coaching which benefits both the customer and the sales person and ultimately the organisation by encouraging customer loyalty and therefore growth.

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