An effective sales process is an orchestrated path of steps that all lead to “yes.” However, putting a sluggish salesforce on that very same path will likely lead to “no.” Why? Because this carefully coordinated course established by sales ops requires more than simply following the steps. The process is part of something much larger: your sales culture. Sales culture is that principal component of a sales organization that has the power to make or break your business; it’s the difference between a weak or high performing team–with a major focus on the word “team.”
By now you’re probably wondering, what’s the leading killer of a sales culture? Complacency. It’s easy to identify, but without the right tools it can be challenging to repair. When your salesforce has a casual approach to the sales process, or seems unconcerned about their performance when there’s an obvious lack in some areas, your team is showing the signs of complacency.
The good news is that this can be fixed. Repairing your sales culture, means re-establishing the values, shared corporate beliefs, and overarching framework that the sales team works within. If your team is struggling, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Are new account acquisitions celebrated throughout the organization?
- Do you encourage feedback and suggestions?
- Are you eliminating toxic or negative sales people?
- Do you have a specific strategy for under-performers?
- Have you established or defined desired behaviors?
- Are you tracking this behavior?
- Have you recently reevaluated the effective of your sales incentive programs?
Answering all of these questions can get you started on the path to improved performance. When you socialize success through sales incentive contests for example, you are reinforcing the right actions and outcomes of the individual but more importantly you’re giving everyone on your team a clear model of what success looks like. When you tailor goals to the individual and set performance thresholds, you can invigorate a salesperson and start to chip away at that complacency.
Remember, a winning sales culture inspires a winning salesforce, not the other way around. If you adopt this philosophy, and take action you can turn your sales team from complacent to competent.