Do you think company culture and the performance of your sales team are linked in any way? How would you define the culture of your business? Is it positive or toxic — or do you just not know as you never prioritized it?
It’s interesting to note how strong company cultures can lead to healthy sales teams that perform their best. Have a healthy culture and you will automatically have a team that likes working for you. They get along well and motivate each other to produce optimum results to meet targets.
Culture contributes to enhanced employee engagement and affects how they collaborate and communicate for customer success. If your company culture is not defined or conveyed — rather it is implied and is a non-entity, here’s why you should give it shape.
Why should you define your company culture?
Before we dive in, here’s a story to understand better.
Priya was part of a thriving business in Chennai, India as a senior sales rep. It sold high-quality products to customers all over the world for an eclectic target audience. Her company was known for its excellent customer service and innovative products. This made it achieve a loyal customer base that kept coming back for more.
Despite its success, the company was struggling to meet its sales targets. The sales team was working hard and beyond their work hours, but they couldn’t work out how to close deals and meet quotas. There was some gap in the middle that they couldn’t pinpoint and rectify, which led to the team losing focus.
Priya’s manager decided to examine the company’s culture to see if there was anything that could be causing the sales slump. Priya was among the team he chose to assist him in taking a closer look. After conducting a thorough review, the team realized that the company’s culture and sales goals were not aligned.
There was a lack of clarity for the whole team and the company’s values were focused on varied aspects. “While our mission statement focused on innovation and customer satisfaction, the sales team was not being rewarded for meeting these goals. We were not recognized for our efforts and lost the motivation to go above and beyond to close deals,” she said.
This awareness made everyone understand the importance of acknowledgment and employee recognition. Once they were appreciated for meeting quotas and working overtime, the team began to thrive. The manager made some changes to the company workflow and improved sales performance.
The culture was refocused on sales, and he emphasized the need to set clear goals and targets for the sales team. Everyone was now moving toward a mutual goal and was able to change paths if they were deviating. To encourage the team to meet these goals, he implemented a new sales incentive program that rewarded top performers.
People with good sales leadership qualities were given bonuses, promotions, team lunches, gift vouchers, and other rewards that they could use. He made sure to genuinely recognize and regularly acknowledge the contributions of the sales team to customer success. Not only sales, but also every department in the company was valued for their efforts.
With the new focus on sales and a culture that supported their efforts, the sales team began to work harder. They were motivated to put in their best as they wished to be rewarded like their peers. They were engaged and worked extra hard to close deals and meet targets — of course, while sticking to their boundaries and personal needs.
This helped the sales performance improve dramatically and it was able to achieve its targets sooner. It continued to grow and thrive which helped Priya expand her portfolio and develop her skills. What this indicates to modern sales teams was summarized by Priya in the simplest yet most profound way possible.
“A strong company culture that is aligned with business goals is crucial for driving sales performance. This is how we managed to create a winning combination for our success. If anyone tells me their business is lagging in some unidentifiable aspect, I will first tell them to recheck their culture,” she said.
How do we start this NOW?
Changing your culture is not an overnight job. It is a process and a journey the entire team must take. Let them know what your point of focus is and how you wish to achieve it. It’s not sufficient if the management alone works towards company growth. Every member of the team must respect its culture and retain it.
Company culture is one word — family. Love your employees and work on their growth both on a personal and professional level. This will help the whole team work together with their sales leadership qualitiesand facilitate learning. Provide support and flexibility for the team and be sure to check in on them occasionally.
“It could be something as simple as letting an employee return home early if you notice they are struggling. Maybe they have some family problem or health issue which is preventing them from working to their best potential. It is the simple act of putting your employees first and your work second (within reason!),” Priya said.
Some things you can do right now include:
Paying attention to your employees and their needs. Have an open-door policy that will encourage your team to approach you and speak transparently. Teach your team to have a healthy culture and friendly rapport with each other. They must learn to accept feedback and provide constructive criticism when needed.
Care about them genuinely and let them know you are there for them. Show that you care and don’t make your employees force themselves to work hard. It is far beyond just an employer-employee relationship. It could be as simple as rewarding your employees before they ask you for an incentive. Or spending time eating lunch with them rather than alone or with your management team.
Create a foundation for growth and show your team how you are impacting their lives outside work. You are supporting them and teaching them new things so they can grow as individuals and thrive in life. Not just to get your job done for you in the best way possible. Invest in their growth and you can surely retain them much longer and make them work harder for you!
Prioritize innovation and teamwork to engage your sales professionals and encourage them to be accountable for their work. From your senior most staff to a newbie, ensure that everyone follows this culture every day. Be inclusive and help your team understand the importance of taking ownership of their actions.
Encouraging teamwork is vital as every employee should work effectively to make the right decisions. This will propel the team forward and help you fulfill the primary goals and futuristic objectives of the organization. Above all, it will make your people feel satisfied and know their role in getting specific tasks done.
Maintaining a positive corporate culture is essential for the overall success of an organization. It can foster a sense of community, increase employee satisfaction and motivation, and improve overall performance.
One way to strengthen and align corporate culture with performance is by implementing a well-designed performance management system. This system should not only provide a framework for evaluating and measuring employee performance, but also align with the organization’s values, goals, and desired behaviors.
By doing so, employees can better understand how their actions contribute to the achievement of company goals and feel more connected to the overall mission and vision of the organization. This alignment can also help to ensure that employees are held accountable for their performance and can receive the support and development they need to succeed in their roles.
Aligning corporate culture with sales performance can help create a positive, cohesive, and high-performing work environment for your sales professionals.