Are you currently doing everything possible to create a culture of sales success?
In order to perform at their best, salespeople need to feel supported and motivated. Creating a culture of sales success lies in a few consistent and actionable behaviors on the part of the sales manager.
Invest in tools that create a competitive edge.
The greatest sales reps are likely to be blessed with an innate gift for selling. Imagine how much more they could achieve with today’s selling tools. CRM can generate vital sales metrics, tablet devices can allow them to perform on-the-fly demos, and prospecting tools can turn their cold calls into warm calls. Competitive B2B sales teams are taking active steps to create online sales channels, deploy marketing automation software, and integrate social media into the sales strategy. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I invested in tools to help my team perform more effectively?”
Find out how your reps spend their time.
It’s five o’clock – do you know where your reps are and what they’ve been doing all day? Time is a sales rep’s most valuable resource. If your sales team is wasting time on nonselling activities, you need to know so that you can step in and make some culture adjustments. This might include introducing weekly conference calls, accompanying a few reps on sales calls, or finding ways to help them correct inefficient approaches to common tasks.
Turn your middle performers into top performers.
Research has shown that top performers tend to spend more time strategizing before sales calls with their managers. Are you devoting extra time to helping your middle performers push through to higher levels of success? Are you giving your top performers an incentive to share what they do well with the rest of the team? Do you have a forum for capturing shared knowledge so that new hires can ramp up quickly? To create a lasting culture of success, look to your “A” players and find ways to capitalize on what’s already working.
Broaden your approach to motivation.
Most sales managers assume that the fastest route to motivation is through a salesperson’s wallet. It’s true that salespeople love earning top dollar and blow-out bonuses. But cash doesn’t necessarily breed loyalty. Use money as a motivator, but make sure you have a variety of ways to show appreciation and keep morale high. For example, sales contests can be a great way to energize the team around a short-term goal, while awards and noncash incentives help foster feelings of esteem and personal appreciation.
How will you know when you’ve successfully created a winning sales culture? For one thing, your reps will start to produce better numbers for themselves and the company. Over the long term, you should see less turnover, higher job satisfaction, and better candidates for hire.
Remember that great sales management is not all about hitting higher numbers; it’s also about people. Lay the groundwork for a culture of sales success today by focusing on elements related to time, tools, top performers, and motivation, and you’ll reap the benefits throughout your career.