In today's business climate, sales departments are a crucial driver of business growth. With the economy in an uncertain state, companies are cutting back on all costs - including payroll. This reality strikes sales professionals the hardest.
Amid lean times, businesses need a strong cultural foundation to pull them through. How does yours stack up?
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The Importance of a Strong Sales Culture
Culture isn't just about what occurs in the workplace. A company's policies and expectations for employees impacts how people see themselves and how they relate to each other. If sales teams have a strong cultural base, they'll build stronger bonds and work together towards taking the company to the next level.
How Can I Build a Strong Company Culture?
The fact is, your company already has a sales culture. The real question should be: is it a culture that allows your team to thrive, or is it stifling your team's potential?
When considering culture-building ideas, it is vital to find ways to get inside your employees' minds. Start by asking what motivated them to become part of your organization. What sets your company apart in the eyes of your employees?
Here are some additional strategies to help you create a plan for your company's culture.
1) Create a Company Mission Statement
A mission statement reflects a company's purpose. It includes goals, priorities, strategies, and practices based on the company's core values.
The company mission encourages employees to take ownership of their roles and to work toward achieving company objectives. A vital company mission creates a positive memory of the company and builds employee retention.
2) Get Top Management Onboard
If your top management isn't holding up the culture, it will not become established within your company. It is that simple. Your newly-adopted culture will not succeed by human resources and learning programs alone. There must be a trickle-down full-embodiment that starts at the top levels.
3) Introduce the Company Culture to New Recruits
Your company's culture is often best established during orientation sessions for new sales representatives, employee induction and performance appraisals, or through other company activities such as fundraisers.
4) Create Roles and Responsibilities for Specific Job Functions
Your company mission and culture will influence every decision you make. To effectively foster communication within your sales force and develop a healthy culture, you must establish appropriate channels for assigning tasks.
For example, a sales representative may need to answer phones or communicate with leads on a specific schedule, depending on their job nature.
5) Encourage Employees to Work from Home
Creating a comfortable yet professional workspace is essential for culture building. Employees should not have to "toe the line," but instead, they should be encouraged to express themselves and reach their goals. If your company offers telecommuting, motivate your sales staff to use this benefit to stay connected with their co-workers.
6) Inspire Commitment to Growth and Excellence
The culture of your company reflects your values and goals. Because your sales staff shares these, you must encourage them to expand their creativity and increase their sense of self. The development of a culture can only happen over time. While some companies wait until an issue arises to begin exploring it, others start to notice subtle differences and cultural gaps that lead to negative behaviors and outcomes.
7) Embrace Open Communication
Communication is the key to any thriving culture. Whether through a blog, newsletter, email, or company newsletter, your culture should be regularly and openly discussed. When there is open communication, you are much more likely to get the most from your sales staff.
8) Allow Your Sales People to Explore Their Creativity
Suppose you tell a salesperson that your company must support an open and welcoming culture. In that case, they will likely start to explore how their own behaviors and assumptions might be contributing to that culture.
By allowing your salespeople this space, they will probably question their beliefs and actions. This is one of the best culture-building ideas for sales departments because the first step toward improvement is acknowledging behavior problems.
9) Define Expectations for Sales People
Culture is defined by the actions of people rather than by the items they create. Because of this, it's essential to understand what types of behaviors your salespeople should be encouraged to develop.
Your culture dictates your beliefs, values, and approach to the business model that permeates your company. Once you've defined your culture, you can then decide what types of reinforcement you need to provide to your sales representatives. Perhaps you need to make it clear that the top priority of your company is customer satisfaction.
10) Cultivate Openness and Humility
Building a strong culture starts with understanding and acknowledging your cultural gaps. Be sure to foster open communication within your sales staff by encouraging participation and openness.
When employees know that they are welcome to voice concerns or questions, they are more likely to be receptive to their culture. A strong culture makes it easier for your sales staff to get the work done efficiently. A strong culture also makes for a more profitable business.
Having a successful team can mean the difference between success and failure. Culture is one of the most important factors when it comes to a strong company culture. By creating a healthy, creative, and inspired culture, a team can work together effectively and without missteps.
Culture-building is a powerful sales strategy for any company. Creating an inclusive culture promotes open communication, increases productivity, and provides a positive impact on performance.
Building a culture can be challenging because it takes time to make. However, by following the necessary steps, sales departments can create their own culture.