How to Create a Successful Sales Culture

Every sales organization or division within a big company will tell you, one of the biggest keys to sales success is the culture their team works and lives in. Sales managers, team leaders, VPs of sales and even sales reps are all key drivers of this culture and keepers of the keys to success. They also have a part to play in building a culture that breeds success instead of stifling sales results. One of the threats to a large organization is that the culture within the company may not be solely set by the folks in sales, so they must carve out a space to drive their own priorities.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SALES CULTURE?

Here are a few things to think about in building and maintaining your sales culture and how key players can influence it.

1. Vice president of sales. This person has to give the high level direction and allow managers and team leaders to carry the story down to the troops. If they don’t empower these key influencers, the culture will stop with them.

2. Sales manager or team lead. These are the captains and the most vital drivers in the constant culture war. The managers ensure that the team is driven by the culture and are responsible to execute on the framework they were handed

3. Sales reps. In the end, the reps all have to be the stewards of any sales culture. They are the ones that can take advantage of or exploit the day-to-day operations of a company or realize that by working within the latitude they are given achieve the greatest gains.

ATTRIBUTES OF A STRONG SALES CULTURE

So how can you nurture a positive sales culture? Focus on these three things.

1. Don’t micromanage. Most sales reps will tell you they don’t want someone breathing over their shoulder all day long. Instead provide a framework and set of expectations for them to work for and within and then give them the tools to run. Top performers will always work to overachieve in this environment.

2. Make the day to day fun. Sales is hard, especially inside sales like our teams execute day in and day out. Accept and acknowledge this and you will be on the road to also creating a fun environment where each time a rep picks up the phone, they will be smiling while dialing.

3. Let people know where they stand. Sales people live and die by rankings. Make sure they are clearly illustrated and visible to all. Some people respond to praise and others to a challenge from a colleague, so if you make the rankings visible, you will motivate both types.

This list is a starting point to design the more granular attributes of your sales culture. The competitions, KPIs, review process and accolades or challenges you give to your team will all fall in line once you have a structure and know who is responsible for what. Once you have that strong sales culture, hold onto it and protect it all costs. For a sales organization, it can be the difference between scraping toward a goal and blowing through one each month!

Happy Selling!