A great sales culture is a breeding ground for excellence. Lots of little things add up to create an environment that is conducive to ambition, growth, and success. But sales culture isn’t just something that develops on its own. As a sales leader, it is your task to create an ecosystem where your reps will thrive, and you will be the one to set the tone for your team. If you want to focus on creating a great culture, without sacrificing the quality of your reps’ training, an innovative training software like Attention can help you save valuable time.
In order to develop a distinct culture in your company, you should identify some core values and principles you want to run your organization by. These will depend on your company and the vision you have for it, the kinds of goals you want to achieve, the experience you want your employees to have. Then you should make sure to communicate these values often and make sure your reps understand them. A well-articulated mission can provide clarity if you make sure everything you and your team does is aligned with the ideal you have for your company.
The best sales organizations have few secrets. Team members are comfortable enough with each other and with their manager to share successes, failures, and learning experiences they have had. Learning can only take place if there is open communication between trainer and trainee. Once the trainee starts hiding things or feels unable to share what is going wrong for them, it becomes much harder to progress and find a solution.
A sales company should be a team first and foremost. There is no room for backstabbing or rivalries in sales in 2021, and if you do observe this kind of behavior you should immediately try to weed it out. You want your reps to feel that they can share tips and learning experiences with each other, and become peer coaches. The more they learn from each other and help each other grow, the more time you will be able to save- and we know how short on time you are!
At the same time, you should also encourage your reps to compete in a healthy, playful manner. Salespeople are often naturally competitive individuals, and channeling this in a productive way can provide a major incentive to excel. Training games are a great way to foster this fun, competitive spirit and drive your reps to stand out from the crowd.
Training is not a one-and-done event. It is a process, and should not be confined to new hires. You can learn at every level of experience, and the best way to do this is by setting goals, continually refining your process, and setting challenges for yourself. You should make sure you are continually progressing as you get more experience by tracking your performance. Attention uses cutting-edge AI technology to do just that, helping you learn fast and keep track of your progress.
Getting trainees to coach each other is one of the most productive things you can do as a sales leader. In particular, you can make your star sales reps train their peers who may be struggling a bit more. This bonds your team, saves your time, and fosters a culture of continual improvement and sharing insights!
A great sales team should not be a revolving door of constantly reshuffled salespeople. You should do everything you can to select reps that you can hold on to, and that will be productive for a long time.
Be a manager, not a micromanager! This means knowing when to hold back and giving reps room to learn and grow. The learning process always involves some stumbling blocks and some experimentation to learn what works for that particular individual. This is hard to do if someone is tracking and trying to control you every step of the way.
Try to strike the delicate balance between training a specific process with detailed steps on one hand, and allowing reps to experiment and find a process that works for them on the other. At the end of the day, if your rep is making progress, meeting training goals, and getting results, it doesn’t matter if they deviate in some ways from the system you have in place. Not only this, but few things are more nerve-wracking than a manager who is always on your case, trying to correct every tiny detail that might be off. You’ll get better results from your reps if you are aware of their progress, but not breathing down their necks or overloading them with training information.
Your reps should always feel they are being held accountable, that both their successes and failures are being monitored. While you should emphasize the positive aspects of their performance, they also need to feel someone is keeping track when they don’t meet their goals or perform as expected. Otherwise, they’ll think that the stakes are too low and they can fly under the radar.
However, this culture of accountability has to go both ways! When you have a setback or fail to meet one of your goals, you should be open and explicit about it to your team. Similarly, if a team member’s failing can be attributed to a gap in their training, you should be quick to take your share of the blame! Cultivating a reputation for fairness will make reps respect you. They will feel some pressure to meet your standards, without being overly on-edge. They also won’t resent any negative feedback you may give because they know you hold yourself accountable to the same standards you are holding them to.
Find creative ways to celebrate your team’s successes. No win should be considered too small to celebrate, especially where junior reps are concerned. Celebrations can take many forms, from cash prizes to casual shout-outs, impromptu pizza lunches, expensive dinners, or nights out at the bar. The important thing is not the prize itself, but the enthusiastic atmosphere it creates, and the recognition your reps feel. If they know that they are not just making calls in the shadows, that they are being held accountable by the whole company and their wins will be publicly recognized, they will put in much more effort and go that extra mile.
A productive sales culture is one that can be sustained by fostering an environment of trust, shared responsibility, and accountability. When you have a team of people who are dedicated to the success of your business, they will work hard for it because they want to see their efforts show results. We hope these 10 steps provide some guidance on how to cultivate this type of work environment in order to boost productivity over time. If you want to save time and get your reps fully trained as quickly as possible, give Attention a try!
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