Building an Effective Sales Culture

As the manager of a sales team, what is the biggest thing you can do to drive success? The answer may be to build a culture of success. Why? You can only be physically present with the members of your team for a small amount of time. The culture you create is always present.

Create a great culture is like a farmer nurturing the soil for a successful crop. Without proper cultivation, fertilizer, and watering, plants will struggle to grow. Create good soil and plants will thrive.

“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game.”
– Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM

Here are a few thoughts on enhancing your sales culture:

Create a Culture That Rewards the Activities That Drive Success

Most sales cultures reward results. President’s Club spots go to reps that exceed quota. Of course, we want to reward outstanding results. But what if we shifted our focus to reward behaviors that drive results? What if we didn’t just celebrate the things that come out of the bottom of the funnel? What if we celebrated the top-of-funnel activities:

  • Percent of the plan for prospecting activity
  • Number of visits to current clients
  • Most social connections inside the client base

Sure, you should have a plaque and a parking spot for the Rep of the Month based on sales achievement. But what if you also had a plaque and a parking spot for Rep of the Month based on prospecting activity?

Create a Culture That Measures What Matters

We all measure sales results. That’s great. The problem is that according to Forbes research, only 57% of sales reps hit quota! That means we need to measure the leading indicators. In sales, leading indicators are prospecting activity:

  • Prospecting Sequences Launched
  • Prospecting calls made
  • Number of social connections in target accounts

Implement a system that measures these activities in real-time as they happen. Put the results on a dashboard for all to see. Simply asking reps to fill out call reports doesn’t cut it. Measure then hold reps accountable. Reward good effort. Coach mediocre results. Fire bad attitudes.

Create a Culture That Encourages Learning

According to the authors of Insight Selling, buyers want sales reps that can offer valuable insights, not just product information. Let’s face it, if someone wants product information all they need to do is hit Google. Instead, reps need to deliver insights.

Bringing insights to buyers requires learning. Sales professionals need to not only know their product, they need to understand their prospects’ businesses.

Do you encourage and reward learning? What books are your sales reps reading? Have them lead a sales meeting and share what they learned. Do you provide training in the business issues vertical markets face? What would it mean if your reps had more business acumen and could drive better business conversations?

Create a Culture That Encourages Giving Back

Larry Levine, the author of Selling From the Heart, says that instead of the acronym ABC – Always Be Closing – sales reps should use the acronym ABH – Always Be Helping. (Click here to read the full article.)

We want more servant-led selling. Creating a culture of helping begins with encouraging reps to get involved in the community. Not only will they begin to foster the heart of service, but they’ll also meet people that will eventually become clients. As a sales manager, I encourage you to lead in this area by getting involved in a local non-profit.

I’m sure there are many other things that can be done to create a great sales culture. What are you doing? I’d love to talk about it.

Feel free to comment below or reach out for a conversation.

Originally published on Convergo. 

About the Author

Darrell Amy: Start Your Revenue Engine

Darrell Amy

Darrell is passionate about helping generous leaders and their organizations grow revenue and impact. He’s the author of Revenue Growth Engine and the soon-to-be-released book, Exponential Growth. Darrell motivates audiences as a professional speaker, sparks ideas in growth mastermind sessions, and serves on the board of several innovative companies.

More Growth Resources

Kingdom REI : Revenue Growth Engine with Darrell Amy

Kingdom REI : Revenue Growth Engine with Darrell Amy

Darrell's goal is to help ten thousand business owners double revenue in the next 10 years so they can give ten billion new dollars to Kingdom work! In this episode, Darrell shares his strategy and framework for building sales and marketing processes that can double...

The #1 Challenge For Sales and Marketing In the Next Decade

The #1 Challenge For Sales and Marketing In the Next Decade

Without oil and grease, the most beautiful sports car with the most powerful engine will not make it out of the garage. Oil and grease reduce friction, allowing the cylinders to fire and the wheels to turn. Business is the same way. Without the right oil and grease,...

Mastering the Art of Virtual Selling w/ Darrell Amy

Mastering the Art of Virtual Selling w/ Darrell Amy

powered by Sounder The past fifteen months have brought many changes, from internal organizational improvements to reimagining and shifting outbound marketing. This evolution has fostered a new awareness of who we're selling to and where they spend their time.  It's...

Kingdom REI : Revenue Growth Engine with Darrell Amy

Darrell's goal is to help ten thousand business owners double revenue in the next 10 years so they can give ten billion new dollars to Kingdom work! In this episode, Darrell shares his strategy and framework for building sales and marketing processes that can double...

The #1 Challenge For Sales and Marketing In the Next Decade

Without oil and grease, the most beautiful sports car with the most powerful engine will not make it out of the garage. Oil and grease reduce friction, allowing the cylinders to fire and the wheels to turn. Business is the same way. Without the right oil and grease,...

Mastering the Art of Virtual Selling w/ Darrell Amy

powered by Sounder The past fifteen months have brought many changes, from internal organizational improvements to reimagining and shifting outbound marketing. This evolution has fostered a new awareness of who we're selling to and where they spend their time.  It's...

Why Paying Attention Is the Key To Effective Marketing and Sales

The most important role of marketing and sales is to pay attention to the outcomes that prospective clients want. This is also the most neglected part of the marketing and sales role. Now, more than ever, marketing and salespeople must be listening and adapting. Clay...

Aligning Sales and Marketing

In this episode of Specified Growth Podcast, Darrell talks about selling an outcome instead of a product or service. He also discusses how sales and marketing can align to grow revenue, and much more. Don’t miss this episode of Specified! Originally published on...

Two Tips For Making Your Sales Forecasts More Accurate

Throughout my career as a sales professional and sales leader, I’ve been asked to assess the closing probability of the deals in my pipeline. These probabilities are used to try to create accurate sales forecasts. However, forecasts are rarely accurate, which can be...

How Customer Experience Can Create Strategic Advantage

To hit your goals you need a competitive advantage. How can you create strategic advantage in your competitive marketplace where imitating competitors seem to frustrate your efforts to differentiate? The answer for strategic advantage comes through customer...

How To Create a Great Client Experience in a Virtual World

I look forward to visits to the Apple Store. As a fan of the brand and a tech nerd, visiting any Apple facility is a joy to me. (I even went out of my way to see the visitor center at Apple’s corporate headquarters last time I was in Silicon Valley.) So, last week...

How To Protect Margins and Thrive In 2021

2021 is a make-or-break year for many businesses. Right now we need to do everything we can to protect our margins while also growing revenue. Here are three ways that you can make that happen. 1. Focus on Cross-Selling Most great companies deliver outstanding support...

Revenue Growth Engine with Darrell Amy System & Soul

Exponential growth doesn't just happen—especially on the heels of a global pandemic. We talked with Darrell Amy, author of Revenue Growth Engine and Visionary at Convergo. He explains how having an "architect mindset" has helped him succeed in training businesses to...