Building a productive environment for the sales team is crucial to a business’s success. Creating the correct sales culture can be difficult. Get it wrong and the business could be faced with a high-turnover of sales professionals, a toxic atmosphere and decreased productivity as a result. Sales excellence doesn’t stem from simply increasing targets or key performance indicators - the fear factor won’t work. It comes from deploying strategies that establish an energetic environment, promotes teamwork, development and celebrates success.
Communicate targets, don’t order them
Overall sales targets must feel achievable to the sales team that is trying to achieve them. By explaining quarterly sales targets through data-based evidence and clearly mapping out how the set goals can be achieved, it unifies employees across all levels of seniority- they have one common aim and a viable plan to make it happen.
A good Sales Manager doesn’t just manage. They lead by example, they coach the inexperienced, they motivate their team and they also set achievable KPI’s. Setting individual KPI’s is a process that must be assessed and implemented carefully. A Sales Manager must take some things into consideration; level of experience, pending coaching needs and current levels of activity to name but a few. KPI’s must stretch but not overwhelm, and also work to progress employees. Getting the balance is crucial.
Introduce a training process
To get the best from your sales team you must invest. Introducing a structured training process is a good place to start. Without the correct skills and understanding of the whole sales cycle, sales professionals will not produce results to their full potential. Training shouldn’t just be for new hires either. Even seasoned professionals can benefit from on-going training and support.
Measure and encourage activity
If a sales team is not hitting their targets attention should turn to levels of activity. A sale is secured through research, networking, picking up the phone, booking meetings and asking for referrals. An effective leader will assess their team’s activity in relation to the sales cycle and encourage higher volumes of activity in the areas lacking focus. Focusing on the individual elements that make up the sales process, as opposed to the end result, will provide a workable solution.
Promote healthy competition
Creating healthy competition relies on hiring the right candidates in the first place. Naturally competitive people tend to perform well within a sales environment and respond well to this kind of motivational tool. Building a positive competitive atmosphere can be achieved by running incentives throughout the week, encouraging transparency of targets or achievements and rewarding top performers. Healthy competition creates an exciting, high-energy environment.
Reward and retain
The sales industry can be brutal. Sales professionals endure rejection and knock backs on a daily basis, which is why their determination and hard work should be recognised and rewarded. Rewarding employees can take many forms. From putting in place a commission structure, awarding vouchers for ad-hoc competitions to simply praising employees verbally. If employees feel undervalued and demotivated retaining them will become impossible.
Never under-estimate the importance of creating a strong culture within your sales team. Achieving the top results happens by instilling carefully thought-out processes that positively impact everyday behaviour. By actively employing these particular strategies a strong, united sales culture can take hold. And the results speak for themselves.