6 Ways To Build A Strong Sales Culture In Your Business
In a typical small business, most sales are made by the business owner and his or her core team of directors, and in some cases by a small, dedicated sales team. While this can be a positive arrangement, it can also distract SME directors from other crucial aspects of their role, such as supporting existing customers and delivering services, and can also lead to burnout and unsatisfactory performance among sales staff.
The solution to sluggish sales figures is to strengthen the sales culture in your business, making your entire team more broadly aware of the value of your products and services and how to communicate this with potential customers, and investing all employees in growing the business and its revenues. Let’s look at ways you can do this.
1) Hire the right people
Everyone in a company has a unique job to do, but it’s easy to let a silo mentality develop in which everyone focuses exclusively and jealousy on their own small role, and which obscures the bigger picture of organisational growth and prosperity. If you are building a team from scratch or recruiting new people, work this angle into your recruitment process. Choose people not just on the strength of their particular talents, but for their breadth of perspective, work ethic, and motivation.
2) Incentivise current employees
Many current employees aren’t sales-focused because it doesn’t occur to them to be. The change starts with you as an employer to educate your employees about what’s expected of them, and give them incentives for changing their actions to meet the company culture. Extending your commission structure to recognise the sales efforts of people outside your direct sales team is a good start to this, as is providing training to help employees recognise the inherent sales focus in their individual roles – especially true for customer-facing staff.
3) Set measurable objectives
Everyone knows what sales are, but a sales culture can be an ambivalent term. What does it mean in practical terms in your business, and how does this translate into revenue targets? Define what it is you want to achieve by having your team more invested in making sales and promoting your organisational brand: greater customer retention, more upsells, more leads from specific sources? A strong sales culture isn’t built overnight, so it helps to set tangible goals and benchmarks for improvement at an organisational level, and feed this into action-specific KPIs for teams, departments, and individual employees.
4) Recognise and celebrate good performance
Strengthening your sales culture involves recognising that all employees have a role to play, and it’s not just the sales team that generate value for the business. Every hard-working and customer-focused employee contributes to making and sustaining your company, and recognising this strength in diversity will help you sustain momentum and motivate employees to do more to secure and build on sales.
5) Lead from the front
The best way to encourage a broader involvement in sales is to ensure that all your senior managers and directors are strong advocates for your brand. Establish a common communication and marketing strategy among your senior team, so that colleagues speak about and promote your brand positively using the same kind of messaging and language – even if they are not directly involved in sales themselves. Employees will see their managers working hard for the business and – so long as it is combined with genuine incentives and recognition – will be motivated to invest more effort and passion into their own roles.
6) Learn from your successes and failures
Strong sales teams celebrate and learn from success, but they also know how to take rejection on the chin, to dust themselves off and approach the challenge from a different direction. A classic failure in sales-focused organisations is either to brush failures under the carpet, so that no lessons are learned, or to obsessively dissect failures and mistakes at the expense of celebrating success. Both are failures of perspective that reduce the ability of your team to optimise their strengths and bounce back from setbacks. A sales culture isn’t set in stone but grows from lived experience. Welcome the feedback and input of all customer-facing employees on how to strengthen and improve your sales process, taking on board the challenges and questions they face in their role from customers, and where they feel improvements can be made.
JDR are a business development agency providing tailored services to help SMEs secure more sales, grow their revenues, and build customer loyalty. Areas we look at include organisational sales culture, sales and marketing automation, content marketing, lead generation, search engine optimisation (SEO), and more. Please call today to find out more.
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