15 Easy Steps to Build a Winning Sales Culture

Most salespeople are all too familiar with the old saying “cash is king”; however, you need more than just high bonuses to build a great sales culture.

David

CMO - July 27, 2016

By following these 15 easy steps, you are guaranteed to be on your way to building a winning sales culture that motivates, empowers and recognizes performance.

According to Suzanne Bates, author of the new book Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act, motivating around goals without monetary incentive is critical:

“Managers and executives must find non-monetary ways to keep their teams motivated, and to inspire them to achieve goals and objectives with fewer people and less funding. This makes it even more important for leaders to be out in front of employees as much as possible, continually communicating and making personal connections with them.”

Now, here are 15 easy steps that I learned from sales professors while attending a business course at Stanford University that are sure to help you build great culture.

  1. People are everything. Recruit well, train well and incentivize performance. If you can do these three things, you will consistently build great teams.
  2. Incentives need to match objectives. For example, if your goal is to build teamwork, then you should focus on team-based approaches that reward group performance.
  3. Managers, reps, marketing and other sectors all need to communicate. If communication is poor, so will be the performance and culture.
  4. People are driven by goals. In order to set goals, you need to understand your business objectives, set KPIs and create clear quotas around these.
  5. Sales teams that are not targeting customers effectively will experience burn-out and lack of motivation. Ensure your process is on point.
  6. It’s easy to believe you have the greatest product ever… but don’t allow yourself to hear every customer problem as a desperate need for your product.
  7. We all have two ears and one mouth. Listen for the customer’s pain points and address their key problems. Sales is all about listening.
  8. Similar to the points above, be sure that you are properly identifying and addressing the true problem, rather than just pitching your product at whatever comes up.
  9. Sales is a numbers game. In order to track progress and improve performance, you need to be aware of how reps are performing on their targets. CRMs can be very useful for this.
  10. Integrity is everything. Don’t sell a feature that your product doesn’t do well just to make a buck.
  11. In terms of performance, numbers, forecasting and sales/marketing alignment, everyone needs to be on the same page and updated regularly.
  12. This one sounds simple in theory but can be hard in practice. How well do you really know your sales reps? What motivates them? What are their personal goals? How does your culture align with their motivations?
  13. We’d all like to be superman but all too often putting out too many fires at once just results in a whole bunch of smoldering embers ready to re-ignite. Choose one task, knock it out of the park and then move on to the next thing.
  14. There is no reason for trying to sell to someone who is not the decision maker or who does not have an actual need for your product. Qualify before you sell. It will save you tons of time and gain you confidence and respect.
  15. Once you have your KPIs and clearly defined goals, it’s important to track performance in real-time. This allows you to provide rewards and recognition, ultimately keeping the momentum going and empowering reps to close more.

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