Sales ethics are measurements of how well salespeople adhere to a code of conduct during the sales process. While remaining true to the company’s mission and policies may seem common sense, not all salespeople follow this code.
Sales ethics is a code of conduct that establishes what is and isn’t acceptable behavior for your employees when selling your products or services. It also explains what standards they should follow while interacting with customers, suppliers, and competitors, as well as in their personal lives.
Much has been written about ethics in business, but we’re going to focus on how it relates to salespeople and their ability to sell effectively. If you already have a code of sales ethics at your company, read on to learn more about the importance of maintaining high standards while selling your products and services.
What Is Sales Ethics?
Sales ethics is a set of behaviors that ensures each lead, prospect, and customer is handled with respect, fairness, honesty, and integrity. It means that as a salesman or marketer, you prioritize the individuals to whom you sell. Instead of imposing your agenda on others, you accept their choices and ideas.
When you look at the big picture, ethical sales behavior makes sense. You establish client loyalty and trust by doing the right thing. What was the outcome? Higher customer spending, more engaged staff, and cheaper operating costs
Adopting an honest framework for sales sends a clear message: you would like to sell to clients who want to purchase from you rather than selling by any greater durability.
Why Does Sales Ethics Matter?
Every industry and every company has a different code of sales ethics. But regardless of which code your salespeople follow, keeping their standards high can likely positively affect your sales numbers and your employees’ productivity.
Depending on your industry, high sales ethics can be crucial for maintaining good relationships with your customers and supplier relationships that can be crucial to your company’s success.
For example, if salespeople sell products or services that don’t meet their customers’ needs, the customers may become unhappy. They may be less likely to do business with that company. High sales ethics standards can also help you keep your employees motivated.
If they know, they’re being held to a high standard, they’re more likely to engage in activities that can help them meet that standard. That’s a win for both your company and your salespeople.
How to Define Your Company’s Code of Sales Ethics?
To get the most out of your salespeople and your sales process, creating a code of sales ethics specific to your company and the products or services you provide is important. Keep in mind, however, that any code of sales ethics should be based on common human values worldwide, such as integrity and respect for others.
One way to create a code of sales ethics is to ask employees to develop rules they think are important to follow throughout the sales process. Once you’ve collected their suggestions, you can organize them into categories and then combine similar categories.
From there, you can work with your management team to create a final draft of your code of sales ethics. You can post your code of sales ethics on your company intranet or another internal website so that all employees can easily access it.
3 Core Principles of Good Sales Ethics
Several different elements can be included in a code of sales ethics. But regardless of the specific wording of your code, there are a few core principles that should always be included.
Integrity is the honesty and reliability that people expect from salespeople. It refers to the way you conduct business and the promises you keep. It also encompasses the commitments you make to your company, your customers, and your fellow employees.
Fairness refers to how you treat your customers, suppliers, and fellow employees. It also refers to how you make decisions at work. For example, decisions about who gets promoted and what projects your team takes on should be based on merit, not personal connections or favors.
A code of sales ethics should include a section on professionalism. This principle concerns how you present yourself to customers, suppliers, and fellow employees. It’s about the clothing you wear and the way you carry yourself. It’s also about the quality of your work and how you handle and share information.
2 Key Ways to Measure and Maintain Code of Sales Behavior
To ensure your salespeople meet the standards outlined in your code of ethics, you should regularly measure their compliance with the code. To do so, you can create an ethical assessment that you can periodically administer to your team members.
These assessments can help you identify areas of improvement and determine which of your salespeople may need additional coaching. Even though you may use an ethical assessment to help measure compliance, you should regularly check in with your salespeople to ensure they’re following the code of sales ethics. You can do this in a couple of ways.
First, you can regularly check in with your salespeople one-on-one. This allows you to check in with each person in a way that respects their privacy. You can also regularly hold team meetings to discuss and follow up on the code of sales ethics. These meetings can serve as a reminder of the code and help you identify areas where your salespeople need improvement.
Sales ethics are crucial to success, no matter your industry. If your salespeople don’t adhere to a code of sales ethics, they’re more likely to make mistakes and lose customers. A code of sales ethics also helps your salespeople stay motivated and engaged in their work.
With the right philosophy and guidance, salespeople can excel, and sales can flourish. To do that, creating and maintaining a sales ethics code is important. To get the most out of your salespeople and your sales process, create a code of sales ethics specific to your company and the products or services you provide.