5 Easy Steps to an Awesome Sales Culture
Having a strong culture is a big motivating force for employees to either stay with a company or leave. It is even more important than financial reward.
Step 1: Build Trust
Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost in a moment. The sales team must trust both each other and you.
As a sales manager, you must trust your team implicitly to do their jobs even when you’re not watching them. You must SHOW each member of your sales team that you trust them.
Open communication is critical to building trust. The more open you are, the more open your team will likely be. A word of caution: as a sales manager you may at times be privy to confidential information that would undermine the morale of the team if you shared it, so use your judgement about what you should share and what is best kept to yourself.
Step 2: Celebrate All Contributions
Everyone wants to know that their contribution matters. This can be a direct contribution like sales, or an indirect contribution such as sales support. A culture that openly celebrates excellent work leads to more excellent work. This is vital to creating and maintaining a successful sales culture.
Create a culture that celebrates success even when you’re not there. Make sure the team celebrates with each other and doesn’t only look to you when they have success. It also doesn’t work if you only celebrate once a year: it will appear to the team that you don’t care about them throughout the year.
Step 3: Fail Fast
Failure is a fact of sales life. Failure is fine if it happens fast and people learn from it. If you miss a target, quickly find out why. This helps you to improve by refining your approach so you can be more successful in the future. Trying something new won’t always work but it could lead to a breakthrough. Creating a culture that accepts failure as a stepping stool to success is key. The fear of failure stops people from reaching for the stars.
Step 4: Create a Culture of Learning
Ongoing learning is also important for your team’s morale and abilities. If they’re not learning and improving constantly the team and culture will stagnate. Use a combination of external and internal training for variety. Encourage peer-to-peer learning by getting team members to share what they do best. Ensure that you also deliver some training to your team, as this will show them you care about them and want them to succeed. Your people need to be learning and developing throughout the year.
Step 5: Master Accountability
Every salesperson needs accountability. While top performers in any field are always self-disciplined, they also welcome accountability, even when their intrinsic (internal) motivation is more powerful than any external motivation. Generally, most people don’t have a huge amount of self-discipline, which is why top performers stand out so much.
Accountability must focus on both good and bad results. You should praise people who have done what they said they would do. If they didn’t achieve their goals find out why and what they can learn from it. But accountability mustn’t be seen as judgement. If your team feels they are being judged by you this will kill your sales culture. So, make sure there is a positive aspect when you hold people accountable.
Maintaining an excellent culture isn’t easy but if you work on it constantly the results are well worth the effort. The most important thing to do is to start. If you want to achieve amazing team success start implementing the steps outlined in this article: an awesome sales culture doesn’t build itself!
As Peter Drucker, world class business and leadership guru, said,
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”!
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