How to build a winning sales culture: part 1

| By: Steve Farnan

Before you blow past this blog thinking culture might be too “let’s hold hands and sing Kumbaya” for your business, consider this:

No company escapes having a sales culture. If you don’t create it, one will create itself. And that can be scary.

I believe in awesome product and smooth-running operations as much as you do. But face it, your goal is revenue. And your company’s sales culture can either skyrocket your growth or take you down.

A winning sales culture is about much more than a sales team. It’s a mind-set that starts at the top and permeates company-wide. Everyone must understand that everything done by every employee impacts a customer’s decision to do business with you.

Great concept, right? So let’s get practical with it.

Five ways to hire right

Bringing on the ‘perfect fit’ team members is well worth the (sometimes painful) effort.

1. Look for grit and tenacity

You want to hire someone who not only knows how to do the job, but is passionate and ambitious about it. Skills can be honed, process can be taught, but grit and tenacity are character traits that will take you places in a competitive market.

2. Don’t cheap out

Hire the best you can afford. The return will pay off.

3. Eliminate personality biases

Interview by panel rather than one-on-one. It minimizes the risk of personality bias eliminating a potentially great candidate. Plus, several heads are always better than one for analyzing all interview angles. And the candidate gets a more well-rounded view of how everything works together.

4. Hire for tomorrow

Consider the potential of a candidate’s future within your company, not just the position you need to fill now.

5. Welcome referrals

Take stock in referrals from trusted sources.

Decide on your core values. And then stick with ‘em.

Let your clients and prospects take a peek at your company’s character. People align themselves with values that resonate with their own sensibilities. Like author Simon Sinek says, “people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

Obsess with customer success

You can’t go wrong wanting things to be right for your customer. Take their business personally. Very personally.

Breathe innovation

Be known as the trusted resource for meeting the changing needs of your team and your customers.

Deliver on what you say

Products come and go, demand is up and down, but your word should be solid.

Check your ego at the door, and love what you do, every day.

Something as simple as a smile—or lack of one—can serve as a neon sign blinking the condition of your culture.

Don’t miss part two of this series for tips on keeping your sales team motivated by showing them the love they crave—and deserve.