We mentioned in a previous post on sales leadership that it’s important to have a sales culture in your business that aims at quality rather than quantity.
But you can only cultivate that excellence if you know what you’re aiming at in terms of sales culture. Create the culture and the quality follows.
So – here are two different sales cultures.
1 The leaky boat
If you have poor sales culture where only quantity matters (you may have inherited it, so that’s not a criticism!), it’s like trying to sail a ship with a leaky hull.
No matter how many reps you hire, you’re taking on water!
And when you take on water and fail to stem the breach, it’s only a matter of time before you sink.
2 The seaworthy vessel
On the other hand, if you have a good sales culture where quality matters, you have a seaworthy sailing vessel with a skilled crew on board.
Each member plays a crucial, targeted role – navigating a course, adjusting sails, etc. – and the voyage will get where it’s going because it’s a quality boat.
But there’s always time to rectify slovenly boat-building!
A positive culture is catching and self-perpetuating. And positivity encourages excellence in the detail.
The Elements of a Good Sales Culture in Brief
- Your overall business has values you expect your staff to adhere to.
- You establish attitudes that are acceptable among all staff, not just sales reps.
- You set the practices that define your approach to selling, and encourage everyone to follow them.
- You focus on longer-term results, good customer experience (CX), and ethical behavior.
- Training and development are available and valued by everyone so they have positive career expectations.
- There are clear performance metrics and goals.
- You foster collaboration and teamwork to keep everyone contributing to the total quality of the sales work.
To bring this into stark reality, let’s look at what a potential job candidate might ask you about your sales culture during an interview. After all, younger talent is attracted to your brand and job as much as salary!
5 Questions About Your Sales Culture a Potential Employee Might Ask
1 Do your sales leaders inspire and motivate the whole team so I can do my best?
2 Will I be working in a supportive and collaborative environment where we all work to achieve your business goals?
3 Do you prioritize learning and development so I can stay with you and still move forward in my career?
4 Do you clearly explain and define your performance metrics and expectations so I can see if we’ll be a good fit from my point of view and I can do an excellent sales job for you?
5 Do you have a fair and effective system for recognizing and rewarding my sales performance so I’ll feel valued for what I put in?
All of these questions, if you can answer them positively, will enable reps to contribute to a sales culture that prioritizes quality – not only in sales but in your business.
If you’ve inherited a poor situation, here are some pointers and examples for creating a better sales culture – but especially focusing on a physical and psychological environment that values quality over quantity.
Let’s look at those in detail.
Creating a Quality-Focused Sales Culture
Establish clear expectations – including the value of building strong relationships with appropriate leads and customers.
If your reps don’t understand your ideal customer profile in detail, they’ll waste time pursuing leads they’re unable to make progress with.
In this case, “clear expectations” means showing them how to choose only quality leads to follow up – with
- appropriate timing of touch points,
- targeted offerings along the way, and
- an eye to returning business.
Provide ongoing training – and encourage reps to take responsibility for their professional development.
In focusing on a sales culture of quality work, allow your reps to take the initiative to
- improve their work via self-selected parts of your training schemes,
- monitor their own progress, and
- receive the rewards of meticulous attention to detail (this includes accurate input of data to your CRM, leading them to achieve better results).
Foster collaboration – because it introduces camaraderie where everyone is invested in each other’s success.
You may have inherited a situation in which reps are pitted against each other, as if in a boxing ring where only one can win!
Make sure your game play insists on everyone helping each other to improve.
That’s not the same as covering for mistakes! Those with a particular strength should be encouraged to work towards helping improve a particular weakness in a colleague as an organic process. This grows quality throughout your team.
Celebrate successes – with a fair remuneration plan, but also acknowledging individual and team successes in a more overt way, because this reinforces quality activity.
As well as a private review system,
- set up a value system whereby everyone knows what quality looks like (communication, persistence, integrity, respect, etc.) and
- call out individuals or collaborations where values have been shown.
The Benefit to Your Business of Prioritizing Quality Over Quantity in Your Sales Culture
The aim of having an excellent sales culture is not only to retain your top talent but to improve your business!
#1 benefit is that quality actions on the part of the sales team improve customer satisfaction.
- Reps understand the customer better.
- They provide solutions that meet their specific needs.
- They keep up appropriate levels of communication at each touch point.
- Your brand reputation grows – often via comments on social and word of mouth.
#2 benefit – the bottom line, really! – is that you experience greater revenue growth.
- quality of communications,
- attention to detail,
- excellent empathy, and
- accurate data recording etc.,
…lead to long-term relationships with customers, repeat business, and more referrals.
Customers can usually sense quality from the top of Guadalupe Peak!
#3 benefit of conducting sales processes within a sales culture dedicated to quality is that you reduce churn.
This applies to:
- potential and current customers – you’re less likely to lose them to competitors, and
- your reps – they’re less likely to leave and pursue their career elsewhere.
360 Can Help You Aim at Quality Rather Than Quantity in Sales
We can help you strengthen your sales with systems and processes that work – including establishing quality over quantity in your sales culture, so you waste less time and raise your bottom line. Contact us for a free consultation.