Every sales organization wants a productive, efficient and effective sales force.
As organizations compete in today’s market, sales goals become increasingly aggressive and the pressure to exceed them intensifies. Consequently, how do sales organizations improve their sales culture to support this high-demand? And why is the sales culture important?
An organization’s sales culture establishes a combination of values, shared business goals and work environment the sales organization operates within.
“Statistics show that a company’s culture has a direct impact on employee turnover, which affects productivity, and therefore success. A Columbia University study shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with high company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in low company cultures is 48.4 percent.”
In order to increase sales performance and retention, organizations need a winning sales culture. Below are 4 key items for improving an organization’s sales culture.
1. Define Your Sales Culture
Concept: Define or update your organization’s mission on sales culture and hire to it.
Practice: Establish or revise your organization’s vision on sales culture. Your sales culture should be used as a guide for assessing and hiring new sales reps. Hire candidates who not only complement your sales culture, but also have knowledge or capabilities that benefit your organization. Candidates who contribute positively to your organization’s sales culture help create a positive work environment for all.
Start with a vision. Without one there is nothing to empower and lead the sales team with. They’ll feel as if they’re just working to work. Building a unifying framework for your strategy empowers sales reps with a sense of direction and purpose. Rather than operating for themselves, they work for a greater purpose. This helps to create a motivated sales culture driven by performance leading to higher retention and accelerated ROI.
2. Develop Your Sales Plan
Concept: A sales plan establishes sales goals, targets and tactics for a sales organization.
Practice: An organization’s sales plan summarizes their sales goals, objectives, processes, targets and tactics. The plan also defines how each of those elements will be measured and tracked for success. An effective sales plan ensures the entire sales organization is focused on delivering against a consistent set of goals, targets and objectives. Your organization’s sales plan benefits the sales culture by establishing a core set of goals and expectations up front.
3. Use Strategic Data
Concept: Key metrics provide sales organizations actionable insight into improving sales performance.
Practice: Strategic data points enable sales performance improvement for the entire sales force. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics give sales organizations a key advantage when it comes to meeting revenue goals, selling more products and outsmarting the competition. KPIs also enable organizations to identify strengths and weaknesses of their sales pipeline. Organizations that provide their sales force with accurate and relevant data empower them to focus on qualified leads that will generate more sales revenue. A win-win for both the sales rep and the organization, creating a high-performing sales culture.
4. Provide Applicable Tools
Concept: Appropriate tools enable sales reps to be effective and efficient in their sales role.
Practice: Investing in relevant tools enables sales reps to be successful at meeting or exceeding sales targets. Sales enablement tools automate processes that allow sales teams to sell better and faster. Tools let your sales force stay aligned with marketing and business goals, identify valuable prospects, access and search relevant content, upsell and cross-sell products, and trigger automatic customer communications. Most importantly, sales enablement technology helps streamline workflows and remove unnecessary tasks so the sales team can focus on creating revenue. Empowered reps are confident in their abilities, feel aligned with the organization’s mission and construct a strong sales culture.
5. Recruit The Right Talent
Businesses must know how to attract, assess and select the right sales candidates. This is easier said than done. One way to make the process more predictable and consistent is with the use of a sales candidate assessment. And while there are many out there, some are better than others. Look for one that is personalized to your sales roles, environment and specifically designed to use data and science to accurately evaluate selling skills and DNA . By tailoring search, recruitment and assessment process to your individual business, sales candidates come properly vetted and are better prepared to perform in your unique sales environment.
6. Personalize The Onboarding & Training Process
This is another process easier said than done. A simple company manual won’t do. To build a winning sales team begins with identifying the effectiveness of your sales force and developing a customized sales training and onboarding program to optimize performance. Personalizing the training and onboarding based on the selling strength and weaknesses identified using a sales assessment helps to accelerate the ramp-up process and time to productivity for new hires.
But training doesn’t stop with onboarding. Developing rock star sales talent requires ongoing development. Incorporating a micro-learning approach that delivers bit-sized bits of content along with quizzes, workbooks, and real-world implementation guides is a great way to ensure the training content is retained and applied.
7. Provide Ongoing Coaching
A winning sales team is one that is continually coached. Idling by and expecting sales reps to simply perform, leads to the same old problems. Have sales playbooks built around effective sales methodologies. Give reps a roadmap to success, set goals and field questions. Be hands on with your team by attending sales meetings, scheduling weekly one-on-ones, and listening to sales calls. Some great tools to streamline the coaching process include Refract and Execvision. Engage your sales reps daily and they will deliver consistent results.
7. Hold Salespeople Accountable
Establish clear expectations for your salespeople. Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and other sales performance metrics are vital. Goals and expectation should be transparent, realistic, and should inspire sales reps to take their abilities to the next level. Presenting them with sales benchmarks is a great way to motivate them and fuel their inner competitor. Implement contest and awards to reward desirable behaviors and keep things fun and competitive.
These tips can improve your organization’s sales culture enabling increased sales performance, motivated sales reps and reduced attrition. Interested in a thorough evaluation of your hiring strategies, sales culture or sales enablement technologies? Revecent can complete an analysis of your sales strategy to identify any areas of opportunity. Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.
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HireDNA takes the guesswork out of hiring and retaining sales talent with a predictive hiring system that uses science-based tools to identify the best candidates with the right sales DNA to perform in your unique sales environment, resulting in lower turnover and accelerated ramp-up to help you hit your goals faster. Contact us to learn what it will take to build your winning team.