Amazing sales cultures consistently perform at the highest level. Here’s how sales leaders create them…
The prime responsibility of sales leaders is to create the environment within which a high-performance culture can evolve. They take a long term view not a “let’s get this done in 60 days” approach. Patience and tenacity is required to see the task through.
How does the sales leader create the right environment?
They must define EXACTLY what the sales organization has to do to deliver what the strategic game plan of the organization expects — what sales deliverables are required to deliver the organization’s strategic intent?
The leader must have a clear line of sight from the strategic intent of the overall organization to the sales teams in terms of, for example, growth objectives and customer groups to target. The translation of strategic intent cannot be vague and general; it must be specific like: “sales will grow revenues from existing clients” or “sales will leverage customer loyalty to grow the business” or “sales will focus on high-value clients to grow the business”
The sales leader must then decide on the top 3 values that every salesperson must possess and live every day in order to deliver the performance expected.
Values could be things like:
- “We develop deep intimate relationships with people”. It’s about demonstrating the desire to have a relationship rather than make a sale. And it also applies to sales colleagues;
- “We will always act in favor of the customer no matter what” (placing the customer relationship ahead of the organization);
- “We believe in spirited teamwork” (power of teamwork to achieve shared goals)
- “If we fail, recovery will be our #1 priority The sales leader must develop a reward and compensation plan that honours the values otherwise they won’t be practiced and no cultural change will occur.
The sales leader must set up a system to measure customer perception on whether salespeople consistently demonstrate the values.
Finally the sales leader must exit salespeople who are either incapable of practising the chosen values consistently or are unwilling to do so because they don’t believe in them. The leader can never leave non-believers in the organization as they will infect others and cultural change will never happen.
To create a high performance sales culture, the leader must deal with the challenge at the strategic level rather than chase tactics they believe are consistent with the goal.
They must follow a deliberate process of producing an environment where the right behaviors are nurtured.