Building a great sales culture is fundamental to the success of any company, but it doesn’t happen naturally. Great culture takes time, and it’s tough to get it right.
Leaders who build and maintain great sales culture understand that it needs to be nurtured over time. It’s not a ‘one-and-done’ type of project. This starts with agile, committed leadership.
Here are five tips that can help any sales leader build a great sales culture foundation:
1. Invest in training.
Sales reps want to feel like their company is investing in their individual career advancement. In many companies, this starts with the initial training and onboarding, and then continuing training and ongoing support. When sales leaders invest their time and resources into training, the reps will reciprocate by utilizing what they’ve learned and feeling a greater sense of loyalty to the company.
2. Celebrate wins.
Acknowledgement is a big motivator, regardless of a sales rep’s experience level. Sales managers should take the time to highlight and celebrate individual and team accomplishments. These acknowledgements shouldn’t just happen within the sales team; when appropriate, they should be broadcast to a wider audience within the organization. Celebrate career milestones but also smaller wins when the economy is tough, like meetings set, meetings completed, demos completed, renewal business, or work anniversaries. “Spiffs” can also be a great way to celebrate wins, whether it’s a cash bonus, a bottle of wine, or a gifted lunch.
3. Be transparent.
Sales reps appreciate information, and when there is open and honest communication, it facilitates a very productive sales environment. Reps want to feel included and ‘in-the-know’. When this happens, they tend to be more focused on work and less concerned with outside distraction. This generates a more productive work environment. Set up an open line of communication through pre-determined channels to inform sales reps of relevant deals, new clients, accomplishments, company changes, etc. A sales culture of transparency leads to stronger and more effective communication.
4. Invest in team building.
Sales leaders who spend time working on team building exercises are often rewarded with very loyal individual contributors. One study showed that businesses that are highly-engaged see a 20 percent increase in sales production. Team building is one way to improve engagement. Examples can be team training (off site trainings are even better), happy hours, or team-based spiffs.
5. Be available.
Depending on the size of your organization, this will have a different meaning. But availability doesn’t have to mean a great time investment. It could mean a quick intro email to new reps, or the willingness to help out on a large deal. Managers who focus on being available to their reps generally foster a great sales culture.
Building a strong sales culture takes time, but it’s an investment that will see a great return. Putting time and energy into developing your sales culture will ultimately help in all aspects of the revenue-facing business, from revenue achievement to recruiting top talent.
Looking to attract more talent to your sales team? Read more about the 10 Ways To Attract Top Sales Talent to Your Company