How to Build a Winning Sales Culture in Your Organization
Selling is what makes the business world go around. Your business can have a great product and talented people, but you aren’t going to be successful if you don’t master the art of sales. But does your organization have a winning sales culture that sets you up for both short-term gain and long-term success?
6 Helpful Tips for Establishing a Winning Sales Culture
“A ‘sales culture’ is a philosophy that permeates the company, from the corner office to the loading dock, that says, essentially, ‘We are a sales organization, and everything else we are able to do is a product of our ability to sell our products or services to our customers,’” sales consultant
#1. Start Every Day Off Right
CEOs and business owners often get so caught up in the big picture that they fail to recognize the importance of what happens on a day-to-day basis. Sure, it’s imperative to have some big picture objectives to strive for, but if you aren’t being attentive to what’s actually happening on the ground level, you’re missing out on a chance to move from a “textbook” sales culture to an “actionable” sales culture.
One way you can create a winning sales culture is by holding a quick meeting every morning. In this meeting, you run through some practical training exercises, brief everyone on expectations for the day, and provide some motivation and encouragement. The meeting should last no longer than 20-30 minutes and needs to conclude with practical information.
“End your meeting on a mission,” advises Arash Asli, CEO of Yocale. “The whole point of morning meetings is to get clarity and focus for the day. Your team is meant to use the collaborative and accountability of the meeting to enhance their daily performance. Make sure everyone is leaving the meeting with a clear outline of their day, tasks and responsibilities.”
#2. Be Patient With Hiring
“For many fast-growing companies who suddenly have a need for salespeople, it’s tempting to hire anyone with the qualifications,” Megan Totka writes for Business.com. “Many organizations do this with the thought of churning through salespeople until they find those who can produce. However, settling for someone who is simply adequate but not the best fit can actually kill your sales culture.”
The best piece of advice is to be patient with hiring. Don’t rush into a hire simply because you need to fill a spot. It’s better to take your time and find someone who fits your culture than to rush into the wrong hire. It takes a lot of people to create a winning sales culture, but just one to tear it apart.
#3. Build Community
Your salespeople should feel like they’re part of a community – not just a random group of people who happen to be working for the same company. Building community takes time and effort, but the benefits definitely justify everything you put into it.
When you’ve done a good job of establishing a community, you’ll see healthier relationships between coworkers, a willingness to help and teach each other, lower turnover rates, and more cooperation between upper management and the sales department.
#4. Set Clear and Tangible Objectives
Sales is all about performance. While it’s often hard to quantify success in certain areas of business, it’s pretty much black and white in sales. This makes sales extremely conducive to setting objectives and measuring results.
In order to help your team stay focused and motivated, you should give them something to strive for. Big-picture goals (like quarterly or annual sales goals) are great, but you also need some short-term checkpoint goals to keep your team motivated on an hourly and daily basis. Setting daily and weekly sales objectives – with tangible rewards for top performers – is a good first step.
#5. Encourage Cross-Departmental Collaboration
It’s virtually impossible for sales to exist in a vacuum. If you were to draw a web diagram, sales would be at the center with spokes reaching out to marketing, advertising, product research, product development, customer service, and every other facet of your business.
If you want to establish a winning sales culture, you have to take these connections into account. By encouraging cross-departmental collaboration, you can set your sales team up for success (and vice versa) by helping them understand the big picture.
#6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
There is nothing more important to your sales culture than communication. If communication is poor, you’ll fail to see the sort of results you want. If communication is constant, consistent, and transparent, you’ll reap the rewards of trust and efficiency.
If you’re doing the other things mentioned in this article, then you’re probably doing an adequate job of facilitating communication. However, it is worth your time to pause every now and then and analyze how the company is doing in this area. You’ll likely see some things that can be improved.
Make a Commitment to Sales
“Sales focused companies tend to produce excellence in every department,” Harrison explains. “The reason is simple: Companies with a strong sales department cannot stay bad or mediocre in other areas; if they do, those sales gains will quickly be lost through customer dissatisfaction and attrition.”
Sales isn’t an area of your business that you can approach haphazardly. It’s certainly not something you can forget about and leave up to your team to figure out. If you study any successful business in the world, you’ll see that they’ve made a commitment to sales and actively work to establish a winning sales culture.
It’s not enough to initiate a sales strategy here and there – you have to prioritize selling in everything you do. The tips and techniques highlighted in this article should help you initiate some traction in this area.
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedInRead Full Bio