Written by: Rae Steinbach
There’s a significant correlation between culture and success, and many teams know exactly what a positive sales culture is all about.
Transparency, a strong mission statement, and communication are common buzzwords. But it’s tougher to know exactly how to build the culture you envision for your business.
Successfully crafting the ideal sales culture for your business requires teamwork at all levels, from hourly workers to C-level executives. With research backing objectives being published regularly, it can seem difficult to keep up with the latest trends in team building.
Whether you decide to focus on better understanding key results methodology or increasing communication, there are many different avenues to consider.
Here are some of the most powerful ways to effect change in your company’s culture and help you stand out from the competition so, in the end, you can improve your bottom line.
Share common goals
If you’re serious about improving your sales culture, you need to ensure that everyone involved is on board with the changes and feels that their voice is heard.
Management needs to make the expectations and goals of each individual member clear so that everyone is on the same page. Rather than rigidly enforcing change from the top down, leaders must be open to input and feedback.
Improve interdepartmental communication
While your main goal is to improve your sales culture, you can help implement those changes by working closely with other departments, especially marketing.
Businesses that closely align marketing and sales see substantially higher retention and win rates. Both sides bring a valuable perspective to the table. They can also offer suggestions for how each department can help the other succeed.
A team culture can’t be created overnight, and it requires constant improvement and adjustment. Weekly meetings and open communication over other platforms are important. They allow both salespeople and managers to check in and see what aspects of their approaches are successful and which can be improved.
If you allow your sales department to get complacent, your actual sales probably will too. The best sales teams are those that are willing to blow up the current sales model. Instead, they’ll focus on constantly learning and striving to improve with innovative tactics and new strategies.
Promote group interaction
A great sales culture doesn’t see its employees only as workers. Team members are recognized as valuable individuals with unique perspectives. Everyone will perform better, both in and out of the office, if they feel acknowledged.
Getting the sales team together for events outside of work will have a hugely beneficial impact on communication and team-building.
Allow for light competition
In the end, your salespeople are all on the same team – but that doesn’t mean a little competition can’t help maximize results. The goal here is to create a sense of competition that doesn’t lead to a negative or “everyone for themself” dynamic.
One great way to encourage healthy competition is keeping it directed at the right targets. Rather than having salespeople work against each other, challenge them to improve upon their own individual sales histories, or to do better than your competitors. Mix things up by using a variety of incentives and goals.
Maintain a sense of accountability
While this aspect of sales culture isn’t always as pleasant as the others, it’s one of the most important. Everyone on your team should understand their goals and quotas as hard targets rather than simply guidelines or parameters. This involves clearly communicating all expectations.
In the event a member of your team is beginning to fall behind their goals, it’s important to talk rather than simply allowing them to underperform. Ask them what they’re struggling with and work together to find a way to bring them back up to speed. It’s important to remember that you’re all working together, and your job is to help them reach their sales potential.
This will hopefully happen simply as a result of the other changes, but keeping turnover as low as possible is vital to a healthy culture in any work environment. It’s always more expensive to bring in a new employee than to retain an existing one; not to mention, turnover can have a detrimental impact on morale.
Two methods of reducing turnover are: Attracting better talent, and having better communication with your team. Give them a way to communicate what they don’t like about the position, and keep your compensation at or above the average rate for each position. Making each employee feel valued as an individual will make them more likely to stay with the company long-term.
Benefits of a thriving sales culture
Following the ideas laid out above is the key to establishing a successful sales culture. In doing so, you can differentiate your business from your competitors. Also, a great sales culture can be a key element in your recruitment approach. It can become one of your main competitive advantages as it not only helps you attract talent, but also enables you to get the best possible performance out of all your employees.
Changing your business’s sales culture is a long-term that requires a time commitment from everyone involved. It can do wonders for your overall productivity and employee engagement levels, which will in turn help employee retention rates.
Many forward-thinking companies have started to prioritize a strong company culture at all levels, and they have typically seen extraordinary results.
Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. You can find her on Twitter here.
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