We have talked a lot previously about company culture and its importance within your organization–better culture leads to higher employee retention, increased productivity and happier employees. It affects all areas of your organization and can often be the make-or-break factor of growing into a successful, sustainable business. In regard to individual departments, sales can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of a healthy or poor company culture, since it needs to be both competitive and collaborative at the same time.
So, today we look specifically at the effects of company culture on your sales teams.
Improve customer relations
Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy, CEO, Xerox
Company culture is significantly linked to employee satisfaction levels. If you cultivate a respectful and enjoyable work atmosphere, people are much more likely to thrive. When employees are satisfied at work and feel empowered to make decisions, it leads to increased creativity and problem-solving. As a result, customer relations improve.
Additionally, when your sales reps are happy at work, this typically extends over to their customers. We have all experienced speaking with that sales rep who is clearly not happy to be there, and this greatly impacts the customer experience. Compare that to speaking with a sales rep who is friendly and positive and the experience is truly night and day.
Attract and hire talent
80% of millennials–who will soon make up 3/4 of the global workforce–said that they “consider how they fit into the company culture before taking a job.”
Clearly, having good company culture is a crucial way to attract exceptional talent for your organization. People want to work at a place where they feel aligned with the mission and values and where they feel that they can actually make a difference.
This also goes for hiring practices. When looking for candidates, it is important to consider not only their skills and experience, but also cultural fit. For example, Jan is a hyper-competitive sales rep who previously worked at a company that thrived on the “everyone for themselves” mentality–additionally, she has stated that she enjoyed that environment and is looking for something similar. Perhaps she is a talented salesperson, but is not the right cultural fit for your organization that encourages a more collaborative and respectful sales culture. There is nothing wrong with factoring this in when choosing someone for a position–and ultimately it will be beneficial to both you and the candidate.
Foster healthy competition
Sales is competitive by nature, so it is inevitable that this will be present in any sales team. The difference is healthy versus unhealthy competition–and culture can be a key ingredient to determining which way your sales department leans. If you build a foundation of respect and appreciation within your teams, this will lead to healthier dynamics when it comes to competing. People will strive for success, while still celebrating their co-workers for their achievements.
A brilliant way to celebrate that success together as a team is with TV screen celebrations. Whenever one of our sales reps closes a deal, their personalized YouTube video pops up on screens throughout our offices and it gives everyone the opportunity to show them some love. Plus it’s also encourages our other reps to step it up and finally close that deal they are working on.
Build transparency and trust
Another way that company culture affects sales teams is through transparency. If you build a culture of transparency and trust between employees and leadership, it will have a ripple effect within the entire organization.
Studies indicate that employees are more engaged and thus more productive when management is transparent and openly communicates company updates, strategies and goals. People want to know what goals they are working towards, and they want to know their role in achieving those goals. By empowering your employees with knowledge and openness, you are creating a more positive and meaningful work atmosphere where they will want to work harder.