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Is Your Organization Structure Limiting Membership Sales?

Last week we challenged membership reps to take an honest look at how they spend their time. This week, we have a bold challenge for chamber CEO’s and membership managers. We want you to re-imagine the role of your chamber’s membership department and the responsibilities of your membership reps.

The interim changes that COVID-19 has forced you to make in regard to in-person events have arguably opened up more time for your membership reps to get down to the business of member recruitment. Though they have more time, the environment is certainly tougher than it has ever been, so you may not be seeing improved results in spite of more time spent selling.

But we will come out of this. Things will get better, and when they do, we think it would make a lot of sense for membership reps to stay laser-focused on the task of driving revenue to their chambers.

Up until now, most of the chamber membership departments we’ve seen look like miniature event departments. The management of certain events has fallen under their responsibilities. And, in some cases, they are even charged with or have taken it upon themselves to come up with new events.

May we be blunt? You’re doing it wrong.

Structuring membership roles in this way only serves as a distraction that takes your reps attention away from what should be their top priority. There is nowhere else we can think of where a sales team is also required to create and deliver products. Yet, it is the norm among many chambers of commerce.

Selling is what salespeople do best. As someone who oversees a sales team, it’s your responsibility to help take the obstacles out of their way, so they can reach their goals.

The value that your chamber delivers to members is the product they need to be selling. Your sales reps need to understand the product, and they need to have a consistent process. Most importantly, they need to focus their time and energy on connecting businesses with the great value that your organization provides. To be successful, we believe that selling should be their only job.

We realize it can be difficult to change something that has “always been done this way.” But there has been a lot of change going on lately, much of which has been outside your control. This is a change that you can control, and though it may be a dramatic shift, we believe it would be a move in the right direction for your organization.

We encourage you to give this some thought. And if you have questions, or need some direction, please get in touch. We’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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