Sales is an art that is evolving every day. To engage with today’s buyers, one needs to ensure their organisation has a sales culture that drives success and growth. Only if you have a strong sales culture in place, you can nurture employees to retain them, manage how productive your sales professionals are, how engaged your team is with your organisation’s mission, and how much they can sell.
Having a healthy sales culture is vital to sticking to your business goals and achieving specific strategies while ensuring that it benefits your employees on an individual level. You can make your teams collaborate more and develop a powerful sales culture to generate the desired results. Read on to know why having a sales culture is important and how you can build it. We also bring five strategies to the limelight on how you can drive success with a healthy sales culture.
What exactly is a sales culture?
Let’s begin at the basics – what does sales culture even mean? “I think it means the sales mindset and behaviour of the organisation and its team members. In my experience, it determines the interactions between our prospects and our customers. I also believe it has impacted the way sellers view our goals and commitment to achieving success. Your sales culture will indicate what each individual in a team can contribute to the organisation’s success,” said a Sales Executive from a reputed digital marketing agency in Chennai.
The inputs given by our source are indeed true. A sales culture is all about the habits, behaviours and attitude that sales professionals exhibit. Along with this, there is the added detail that individuals need to focus on the end-customer experience. It requires satisfied customers to drive sales and bring success to any organisation. At the same time, it requires the dedication of the team to ensure that the customer has a good experience with the company and its solutions. A successful sales culture can bring out the best in teams.
How do I set a strong sales culture for my team from Day 1?
Your sales culture is affected from the first day your employee sets foot in your organisation – meaning your hiring process itself must set the tone for them. Hire people who are a good culture fit and who can align with your values. When the employee joins your team, they must acquaint themselves with your policies, goals and mission right away.
If you wish to build a positive sales culture, try to encourage growth for both the business as well as each individual. From the first introduction to your sales team, the person must feel like their career path can progress in various ways if they contribute to their fullest potential. They must feel connected to the organisation and resonate with its goals.
“We establish our sales culture right from our hiring process itself. The employee is trained to collaborate, communicate, accept feedback, and perform with a growth mindset. We always watch how we treat our employees as it directly affects how they interact with each other. We foster a sense of collaboration with the team and prioritise tangible results that each person needs to work towards,” said the Project Manager of an IT Consultancy agency in Chennai.
#1 Build an open communication model
The first step to building a positive sales culture is to set a shared mission and mutual goals for all the team members. The entire team must work towards a quantifiable goal and there need to be open lines of communication. For example, try to look past hierarchy in your sales team. Ensure people can openly accept their mistakes and take feedback from anyone in the team while still being accountable.
Even a fresher can offer constructive criticism to the team leader who has been in the organisation for many years. There are open channels of communication to ensure that everyone is transparent with each other, and the team is on the same page. Every individual feels heard, empowered, and supported to help them feel connected to the team.
#2 Understand your clients and guide them
No solution is set in stone to solve every business’s problems. As a leader, you will have to formulate personalised solutions for each company based on their pain points. The customer is king – they must feel a connection to the organisation just like the employees do. When it comes to prospecting, don’t stay focused on making a sale. Instead, turn your focus to providing a solution to the customer.
Do not force your product or service on the customer. You need to guide them and understand them beyond the surface level. A positive sales culture will train its employees to not rush the process. Take time and effort to absorb the client’s needs by listening keenly – what better way to offer consultative selling than to let the client voice their concerns?
#3 Promote healthy competition
While incentives and rewards are a good way to encourage your employees. In the process of motivating your team, don’t create a toxic environment. Do not allow ‘competition’ to become ‘cutthroat.’ Help your team stay focused by acknowledging their performance without making them turn against each other or try to work for individual benefits. Create healthy competition by encouraging your team members to beat their own records.
“A key mistake I made while trying to motivate my team was to compare my employees. I would pick an employee of the month and speak about their success during monthly meetings. Little did I realise that this was communicating a wrong message to my team. Some of them fought for attention, as they felt a lack of equal opportunities. It took our team a long time to unlearn some models and take on a healthy level of competition. People want to feel noticed and appreciated – never take that away from them,” pointed out a Consultant at a reputed IT company in Coimbatore.
#4 Allow freedom for all the employees
Give your team adequate freedom to make the sales process theirs. Your control must not exceed beyond setting the plan and objectives for them. You can only offer guidance and train your employees – not end up dictating what they do. Giving each team member the ability to make informed decisions on their own also builds trust. For all you know, the team might be able to produce a better solution.
It also relaxes the pressure on employees to meet a certain standard or achieve a specific goal by a given time. They can choose their path to achieve the desired results – failing to do so will be their mistake alone. It promotes dedication and accountability to help people reach their goals. This way, you are encouraging growth and new perspectives without compromising on the numbers you need and the desired goals you need to achieve.
#5 Be transparent with your team
The best way to drive success is to let your team know your plan. If you have a specific plan in mind, you cannot expect your team to grasp it without communicating it to them. Let everyone know your motto and vision – where are you headed and what process are you following to reach your destination? How can you avoid making tasks feel repetitive and keep your team motivated?
Remember that without asking, you will never know. If you want to know if your team understands your values, ask them. If you feel the team is deviating from the goals, guide them back on track by speaking to them. Always be transparent with your team and share the company and team numbers, revenue attained, etc. This will help the team members know how their work is contributing to the company’s success.
Communication is the stepping-stone to promote a positive sales culture in your team that drives success. You must always convey your goals and ideas to your team and encourage them to do the same. Give your team the freedom to do their best and make decisions on their own. It doesn’t work if you don’t trust them and don’t give them adequate freedom to do their best.
Beyond your team, pay attention to your clients as well. Sales culture doesn’t end with your sales team – it extends to how your customers view your brand and how connected they feel to your solutions. Be sure to stay in the loop with them and forge meaningful relationships.
We would love to know more about your sales culture and what techniques you have in place to drive a successful business. If you would like to work towards a sales culture that aligns with your business goals and motivates all your team members, click here.