In simple terms, your organizational culture refers to the personality of your business, and for sales-orientated organizations, it can be beneficial to ensure that selling is a key part. Indeed, putting sales at the very heart of your company can help to focus your operations and improve overall performance.
With that in mind, here are five ways to make sales a bigger part of your organizational culture.
1. Make Sales Your Number One Goal
When trying to emphasize the importance of sales, one of the most simple and effective steps is to review your company’s mission statement. Ideally, your mission statement should be simple enough for your sales team to remember, it should be repeated regularly during sales training and should have sales at its core.
A simple acknowledgment that you are a sales organization, which succeeds or fails based on the number of sales made, can go a long way towards helping to embed sales within your organizational culture. Of course, you want to solve problems for clients or customers too, and you will certainly have other goals, but you exist to sell.
2. Introduce an Element of Competition
Part of building a great culture is making the workplace a fun place to be. Introducing an element of healthy competition is one way to achieve this, although it is important to strike the right balance. After all, ultimately, you need staff to view each other as team mates, rather than as competing individuals.
“As a manager, you want to foster competition between your reps in a constructive and a fun way, eliminating any negativity or backstabbing,” says Cara Hogan, writing for InsightSquared. “Create exciting sales contests that drive reps to work hard, but make sure the stakes aren’t so high that they resent each other.”
3. Acknowledge Great Sales Performance
Another important step towards making sales part of your organizational culture involves acknowledging great sales performance. This does not simply mean singling out individuals who perform well, although that should be part of it. Rather, it means giving the team praise when they meet or exceed targets.
When your sales team feels like their efforts are recognized, it will be more motivated and more likely to maintain high standards. There are many ways to recognize great performance, ranging from light-hearted internal awards to taking your sales team out for a celebratory meal, but make sure this acknowledgment continues for the long term.
4. Develop Great Leaders and Supervisors
The influence that leaders can have on culture cannot be overstated. Research from Gallup shows that 80 percent of sales people have their overall perception of a company influenced by their relationship with direct supervisors. Similarly, 70 percent of people who leave organizations do so, in part, because of their relationship with their boss.
It is, therefore, important to invest in high-quality sales managers training. Sales team leaders then have a role to play in establishing positive relationships with sales staff, and in creating a culture which encourages, continuous learning, and provides opportunities for both personal and professional development.
5. Give Your Sales Department Priority
Finally, it is important to look after your sales department and resolve any inter-departmental conflicts that may restrict sales progress or demoralize sales staff. This can be a difficult balancing act, but if you have a sales-centered mission statement, you can use it to make sure other departments recognize the vital role of sales.
“Good sales forces are always creating extra work and pressure for the other departments, which must then function at a higher level to support the sales growth created,” says Troy Harrison, a sales expert and the author of the book Sell Like You Mean It. Stressing the importance of sales can help to alleviate inter-departmental tensions.