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A Guide to Building a Winning Sales Culture: 3 Key Steps To Drive Success

Sales management

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“Sales Culture” can broadly defined as:

The shared attitudes, behaviors, and habits that underpin the processes, communication styles, and energy of a sales organization.

Building the right sales culture strategically drives and reinforces desired behaviors, differentiates sales teams, and delivers long-term success.

Building a successful sales culture requires a focus on three key objectives:

  1. Defining the culture in clear terms.
  2. Uniting the team around a culture of accountability.
  3. Making meetings matter.

In this blog post, we explore each of these objectives in more detail.

Define the culture in clear terms

A well-defined sales culture creates cohesiveness. To effectively define the desired sales culture, leaders can anchor their culture building on four elements:

  1. Management: Define the frequency of coaching sessions, one on ones, and team meetings. Lay out explicit expectations for team members during these meetings.
  2. Rewards and Recognition: Define the frequency for awarding rewards and recognition, the specific behaviors that earn them, and the importance of those behaviors.
  3. Professional Development: Define the skills each team member needs to build to be successful, identify team and individual gaps and outline a clear plan to bridge them.
  4. Systems and Tools: Define the processes and tools the team needs to consistently execute sales activities, and specify how the processes and tools should be used.

Unite the team around a code of accountability

A commitment to accountability accelerates adoption. To meaningfully develop accountability each team member should be focused on performing against a core set of metrics that connect to activities leading to closed deals.

For most selling organizations those metrics align with the critical parts of selling which include prospecting, deal qualification, opportunity pursuit, and negotiation. The key to success is clearly communicating the metrics, their importance, and the connection between each metric and team and individual goals.

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Make Meetings Matter

Simplifying the structure of team meetings makes them more engaging. Too often meetings are conducted out of habit and salespeople dismiss them as a formality rather than an opportunity. This does not need to be the case. Meetings can serve as a powerful opportunity to reinforce culture.

The key to an effective meeting is simplicity. For most leaders this means focusing on two key areas:

  1. Recognition: Highlight the achievements of individual team members to demonstrate what success looks like and how a desired behavior leads to meaningful outcomes.
  2. Capability building: Demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement by choosing one skill that needs to be improved or learned using role plays to make the exercise relevant and immediately applicable in the field.

Following these steps will create the foundation for a clear, intentional, and consistent sales culture that gives sellers a sense of place, aligns the team on goals, and delivers sales success.

Richardson offers a course for sales leaders and managers that guides them through the process of building and embedding a sales culture that drives success, click here to learn more about the program.

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