Company culture is infectious — whether it is good or bad. A vibrant sales culture benefits not just the employees who bask in it, but all stakeholders. When salespeople are happy, positive, fulfilled, motivated and secure, numbers rise and sales increase. In the absence of a strong culture, performance sags, negativity reigns and your best performers start looking for the exit.
Defining Company Culture
In its purest form, good company culture is one in which the employees believe in the business and buy into its vision. When a team achieves success, there is sense of bonding and togetherness that unites and inspires the entire team. An inspired team works not as a series of individuals struggling to meet quotas, but as a single unit driven to accomplish superior results.
In order to develop and maintain a positive sales culture, you must, of course, pay your top performers well — but you must also value them and provide an enjoyable work environment. Money alone cannot support sustained growth and momentum for an extended period of time. It is up to sales leaders to intentionally and purposefully build a positive culture using tools beyond financial incentives.
The Building Blocks of Positive Culture
Vibrant culture is created by leaders who listen, who express gratitude and foster an environment in which team members are motivated, but don’t feel threatened with the looming fear of termination.
A business is sometimes lucky to have one or two sales superstars or rainmakers, and it must strive to keep them. Your superstars can work anywhere, and losing them can be catastrophic — not just to sales numbers, but to the resulting degradation of company culture and employee morale.
The team’s superstars are often driven by reward or recognition – or a combination of the two. To keep your superstars happy, you have to pay them well and give them choice assignments, which enables them to continue succeeding — but what about the others on the team? How do you contribute positively to the mindset and growth of the majority who are not necessary the top earners?
One strategy is to let them model the masters. Pair new or struggling team members in mentorship roles with your team’s superstars. When experienced recruits are tossed into the fire and expected to perform, hopelessness and frustration reigns. When they are given a living example from a top team member on how to work the system, they feel that the company is behind them and invested in their success.
Most importantly, positive culture must come from the top. The business’s shot callers must be involved and invested in good, genuine, honest, compassionate leadership. The team will always follow the example and direction of its leaders — and positive sales culture is a concept that must be developed and instituted at the highest levels.