How Can You Create a Sales Culture Within Your Organization?

by: Luke Kreitner October 1, 2018

Salespeople find sales opportunities by following the sales process and talking with prospects. But what if your company could create sales opportunities on top of the ones your sales team finds through traditional channels? With a winning sales culture that sees everyone as a salesperson, you can do just that. But how?

Fortify your winning sales culture by aligning marketing and sales’ goals.

Start with the basics – align your sales and marketing teams. When these teams are misaligned, the result is tragic: confusion, interdepartmental squabbling, and of course, missed sales goals. Exactly how much can organizations lose when the teams tasked with bringing in business aren’t seeing eye to eye?

According to HubSpot, up to 208% of potential marketing revenue. If you don’t have that much to lose, consider these steps to getting your sales and marketing teams realigned:

  1. Set up a meeting to standardize how everyone views the sales funnel.
  2. Define core terminology and metrics.
  3. Develop simple processes, including how to manage transitions in the funnel and hand-offs.
  4. Coordinate shared goals, so that marketing can help sales reach key milestones.
  5. Build in trust and accountability with a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
  6. Maintain the collaborative relationship with monthly or quarterly meetings.
  7. Review key terms and metrics with new hires, so that they are on the same page as veteran sales and marketing members.

Teach non-sales employees to recognize sales opportunities by showing them how their position fits into the company strategy

Even if their title doesn’t say so, your non-sales employees are salespeople, too. Some real-life examples of non-sales people creating sales opportunities within their position include:

Account managers They speak to existing clients every day as part of their jobs, and are in a special place to address pain points with additional products or services.
Company drivers Drivers meet both customers and prospects on each route. All it takes is a single conversation with a key decision maker to gain a referral.
Receptionists and office administrators As the first line of defense when prospects call in or visit, these employees can influence final sales decisions simply by being helpful.

To unleash the collective selling power non-sales employees, treat what they don’t know as an opportunity to educate. Start from the top with your company’s strategy. Of 1,800 executives surveyed by Harvard Business Review, 53% reported that their employees didn’t understand their company’s strategy. And of the few that understand, they may need actionable advice from management to tie their position to actual sales opportunities. To fill the knowledge gap for all employees:

  1. Create straightforward expectations. Show your employees – both sales and non-sales – how to succeed in their jobs and help meet sales goals. Not only does this align everyone to one objective, it builds accountability.
  2. Map out a strategic communication plan. This plan should encompass how your company will continuously share its vision and goals with everyone. More importantly, it should include a protocol to reinforce it as time passes.
  3. Give everyone access to up-to-date customer data. Whether it’s an announcement about new clients or a sales strategy to bring in more business, everyone in your company should know. If they are unaware, how can they participate effectively in your new sales culture?
  4. Train non-sales people on basic on sales skills and techniques. A little training goes a long way. When everyone has a basic grasp on selling, they can better appeal to their network.
  5. Check in with employees and ask for feedback. Doing so, especially using online surveys that reward participants for completion, gives you a clear picture of what’s working, where improvements can be made, and critical oversights in the culture.

No matter how large or small your organization is, it’s possible to align everyone’s role and actions to the overarching corporate revenue goal in a cost- and time-effective way. When you create clear and simple processes, or a more defined workflow for everyone in your organization, you are 33% more likely to be a high performing organization.

Use non-sales employees to tap into sales opportunities that are off the beaten path

They may not have a deep understanding of the sales funnel, but non-sales people do have connections outside of work who may be key decision makers at a prospective organization. Encourage them to reach out to their connections via social media or word-of-mouth to market your products, where appropriate.

Knowing that your non-sales people are an untapped reservoir of potential sales opportunities is a start. But showing them how their role fits into the bigger picture is what really develops an effective sales culture.

Give your team an opportunity to grow as salespeople

Did you know that only 55% of companies have a formal sales training process, and that continuous training can yield up to 50% higher net sales per rep? This isn’t just for the sales team. Non-sales team members benefit from continuous training, too, especially when that training is engaging, easily-accessible, and fun. For this reason, a training platform that pays out incentive rewards upon completion of a course may be the best option to efficiently maintain a winning sales culture long after its launch.

Training platforms (i.e. Learn and Earn), when integrated into an incentive rewards program, make changing past behavior worth your non-salespeople’s while. Asking employees to go above-and-beyond for the company warrants above-and-beyond rewards for their efforts. And cash-based awards like salary increases, commission, and bonuses miss the mark. Why?

Monetary incentives go into your employee’s bank accounts with their paycheck, getting swallowed up with everyday household expenses. Non-monetary incentives give them the chance to redeem something truly special and memorable. Even more, they can brag about it, introducing a healthy dose of friendly competition into the workplace! An incentive rewards program provides a simple avenue for continual training, so that knowledge gaps are addressed before they grow.

Build a sales culture where everyone is a salesperson.

Whether you’ve formally created one or not, you have a sales culture. Think about it – is your sales culture one that involves all employees in accomplishing corporate revenue goals? If not, realign your sales and marketing teams, tap into your non-sales force, and educate everyone with incentivized training. The key to creating a winning sales culture that nets you the best sales opportunities is building one where everyone in your organization is a salesperson. Not just the sales team.