By Grace Lau
Sales organisations invest, on average, 90% of their budget in personnel. Building a strong sales culture is essential to ensure that such an investment creates a productive work environment with continuous growth.
A company’s sales culture is defined by the values, behaviours, and habits embedded within its sales team. A successful sales culture is about more than meeting quotas and keeping attrition rates low, it’s about working with your sales team to foster their personal development and create a productive work environment.
To build a strong sales culture you must facilitate three key areas of change; company culture, employee base, and technological capacity.
Company culture: Put quality first
46% of active job seekers cite company culture as very important when choosing to apply for a job. An overall quality culture is essential when building a strong sales culture—it will encourage your team to meet and exceed high-standards of service, while ensuring customer satisfaction.
But, what is quality culture and how can you create one in your company? Essentially, quality culture is a set of values held by your company to improve the quality of your service. For instance, addressing customer pain points by ensuring that your website is accessible and easy to use, or providing consistently positive customer support through live chat, phone, or social media.
To develop a quality culture, consider three key areas:
- Company objectives: What are the key objectives of this company? Are my team members aware of these objectives?
- Employee challenges: What challenges do my employees face in their work day? How do these challenges impact the work environment of my company?
- Team solutions: How can we work as a team to resolve these challenges? Are these solutions in-line with the company objectives?
By addressing individual challenges your team members may face you can create a welcoming work environment, which will increase productivity and loyalty. Integrating your company objectives into this will increase alignment between your teams and their goals, forming an effective company-wide sales strategy.
A department or company-wide sales strategy will ensure your sales team shares a common vision, promoting a healthy sales culture. Top-performing sales representatives are naturally competitive, however by creating a common vision you ensure that every employee is working for the good of the company, rather than their own success.
By ensuring your company has a quality culture you will invest in the capabilities of your employees, creating a high-performing sales team and building a strong sales culture.
Employee base: Invest in your team
To maintain a quality culture in your company, it is necessary to also ensure a culture of innovation. A company with objectives and employees that value innovative ideas and solutions will be able to stand out against competitors and inevitably have a strong sales culture.
To cultivate a culture of innovation in your company you must invest in your employees. Employees who receive training all at once will soon forget most of the training content, leading to gaps in their knowledge which detract from their performance. Continuous training ensures that content can be constantly reinforced and practiced while on the job.
Training your employees is only the first step in building a strong sales culture through a culture of innovation. You must also challenge your employees by offering them new educational opportunities and experiences—whether through external courses or through internal experiences while on the job. Investing in the inputs will boost the outputs of your sales calls and improve your sales culture.
Employees who feel unsupported in their professional development are three times more likely to look for another job. Facilitating a supportive environment which encourages innovation and education is essential for improving your employees and ensuring their loyalty to your company.
This approach will also draw in hard-working employees who will bring new ideas and energy to your company—42% of millennial employees cite opportunities for learning and development as the most important factor when considering a new job.
Invest in your team and your team will invest in your company and its success, creating a strong sales culture.
Technological capacity: Update your tech
In today’s world, renewing your company’s technology to stay up to date with the latest forms of communication is essential when communicating in a B2B or B2C context. Digitization has radically changed B2C sales processes in the past year, and is soon to have an equally important impact in B2B sales. Not only will improving your company’s technological capacity improve customer relations, it will empower your team by providing them with the tools to do their job efficiently.
The telepresence vs video conferencing debate is one you may be familiar with if you’ve been considering expanding your virtual capabilities. A small investment into telepresence systems in your office can widely improve communication between your team and clients, with higher quality audio and video.
With teleconferencing you can both accommodate the growing online aspect of business interactions and allow your team greater ease of communication, fostering a productive work environment and strong sales culture.
Team collaboration and communication is essential to maintain healthy competition and a strong sales environment. Such an environment will work for the good of the company, by encouraging employees to grow within a broader network while working to stand out as a high-performer.
Something as simple as a virtual whiteboard app for collaborative note-taking during online meetings can make a noticeable difference in the productivity of your team, by acting as a source of inspiration and communication.
Investing in hardware and software for your company and staff is essential to keep your company ahead of competitors. Such investment also shows your team that you care about them and their working environment, building a strong sales culture.
The fast-track to a strong sales culture
If you effectively cover these three key areas of change you can transform your company’s sales culture. Each of these areas, when addressed, provide an ideal framework to set clear goals for your company and employees.
Those clear goals will encourage employee development and promote healthy competition in your sales department. Investing in your company’s technological capacity will ensure your company goals are clearly communicated to your employees and continuously discussed and implemented by them, transforming an average sales culture to a strong one.
About the Author
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication and VoIP system platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. She has written for sites such as SurveyAnyplace and Recruit CRM. Here is her LinkedIn.