Everyone always talks about culture and the importance of having “the right one”. What does a perfect culture mean to a sales leader today? No two organizations are the same just as no two people are the same, so the definition varies widely. There may not be a “perfect culture” but I have a few thoughts on what my version of a successful sales culture looks like. Outside of the 2 most prominent focuses, “transparency and flexibility”, there are a few more key components that should be considered.
- well-defined goals/expectations
- quality training
- quality people (if you already have them or if you need to hire them).
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Process– repetitive interactions help the team to be MOST successful. This allows for collaboration and puts focus on what is valued and what is most impactful. A process for where to find information, a process for a sales call from start to finish, a process for communicating effectively with management, team members, etc.
Well-defined goals/expectations – no blurred lines or ambiguity. Set goals and milestones along the way and communicate them out to the team. This will build trust for the leadership team. If you want someone to achieve a goal, they have to know exactly what it is and how to expect them to attain it. Sell 15 accounts in 15 days… what type of accounts, what is the target revenue from these accounts… etc.
Quality Training – We all know it is key to have training and development to retain and grow great employees. Training comes in many forms – in person, online, peer-to-peer, 1 one 1’s with leadership, the list goes on and on. If you provide quality training and make it a priority (daily, weekly, monthly) you will build your bench strength and be able to grow your skilled employees into the next round of leaders within your organization.
Quality People – If you DO NOT already have these people within the organization to create the new team, then it is VITAL to hire the best. We all know this, but seldom does it work out perfectly. I don’t have a magic wand for this one, referrals are usually the best, but I would hire for culture fit over skill set any day of the week. Hire for things that you cannot teach or train – drive, honesty, passion.
Being that teams are not always working the same office, it is also important to have an inclusion mindset. Everyone adds value to a team and can impact the culture. Having a remote team I have used a few corny things to set the culture – a “team credo” that we develop as a team. This includes expected behaviors, outcomes, and gave an overall feel for what the team focused on to be their best day in and day out. To ensure we were operating within the credo, we had some read it on each team call/meeting. We also united ourselves through a team name that everyone votes on. One of my faves from the past “Beasts of the Southeast”.
Take a moment to reflect, do you have the right process, people, goals and training in place to get your team to the next level of success?