What makes a successful sales culture?
Unsurprisingly this is probably the question I get asked the most and the reality is that there isn’t a single or straightforward answer, as the elements that create a successful sales culture need to be geared individually towards an organisation. However, there are some common characteristics that almost every organisation that has a successful sales culture have in common, which I have been asked by so many people to share.
Probably the most important element of developing a successful sales culture is getting the behaviour of the team and company right. It starts with understanding the type of behaviour you need all of your teams to demonstrate, and that doesn’t just mean the sales team. I am a great believer that a successful sales culture is completely underpinned by consistent and positive sales behaviour being demonstrated through every element of the company from board level to sales through to finance, customer service and administration. Once you have identified the behaviour that will create a successful sales culture you can develop it and recruit new staff that demonstrate that behaviour.
Trained, Skilled and well drilled
If you look at the most successful teams in any walk of life be it in business, in sport or teams that operate in critical situations they all have one thing in common they are all trained, skilled and well drilled to be able to do their job well and to do it consistently, and they keep practicing and developing to ensure that they can keep doing it well.
If you take a sports team and let's use Real Madrid as an example a team full of talented footballers all skilled in their ability to play football but also well drilled and well trained to know exactly what to do in any given game, it would be unthinkable for that team to take their foot off the gas, can you imagine an instance when they win 4 or maybe 5 nil on a Saturday and their manager turns to the team and says boys that was great I think we are as good as we can be, let’s skip training this week and I will see you here at 2 pm next Saturday for next week's match? Of course not because the training and preparation for next week's game begins immediately after that match, the team comes back in on the Monday or maybe even the Sunday and begins preparing and training for the next match to ensure they are ready and in the best possible position to be just as successful or even more successful.
Successful sales teams are no different they don’t look at coaching or training as a bolt on nice to do activity, they view training and coaching as an essential and critical part of their ongoing development and the foundation of their consistent success.
They have the tools to do their job effectively
Having the right tools to be able to do a job effectively is critical in any aspect of life, a plumber would struggle to fix a leaking tap without the right tools, and sales tools are no different, If your sales team and company as a whole don’t have the tools to do their job they will struggle to be effective at generating sales and maintaining a successful sales culture, whether it is having the ability to ask effective questions, build rapport, generate new sales leads or have the correct sales literature or collateral to engage with a client or prospect, if your team doesn’t have the right tools they are going to struggle to be successful.
Everyone travels in one direction
Another key aspect of a successful sales culture is the ability for the entire team to be traveling in one direction aiming to achieve the company's goals together, whatever those goals are whether it is increasing sales, increasing customer satisfaction of increasing the level of client retention, companies with successful sales cultures work together to achieve their goals.
The final aspect that makes a successful sales culture is being customer centric, the acknowledgement that customers are important with the entire focus designed around attracting new customers and delighting the ones you already have, putting customers at the heart of your business and ensuring that the entire workforce shares this vision is challenging but when embedded within the organisational culture, being customer centric makes a massive impact on the success that culture delivers in terms of sales results.
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About the author
Paul Routley is an award-winning trainer and one of the country's leading authorities on modern sales techniques.
With over twenty years experience in sales and sales management, starting out in sales at the age of 17 and working his way up from trainee sales person to sales director, working for some of the worlds largest and most well-known companies along the way.
Paul has held a number of sales manager roles throughout his career and spent over 12 years as a sales director.