The Pipeline Guest Post – Jon Birdsong
A great sales process does not start with fancy workflows and flawless forecasts. Forging a thriving sales process starts with something more integral to the organization: the company’s DNA. Make no mistake, company culture cultivates machine-like sales processes. When it’s done right, the result is admirable and motivating.
The past two years have exposed the Rivalry team to a variety of sales processes and sales cultures. Some are amazing. In certain companies, salespeople enjoy going to work, making progress on their goals, and achieving measurable results. In others, salespeople dread work, make no real advancements in personal or professional improvement, and lost when it comes to goal achievement.
We’ve found consistent patterns in company cultures that foster efficient sales processes efficiency. The following are 4 company culture “must-have’s” to create a great sales process.
Coach Like Phil Jackson – it’s indisputable Phil Jackson has the best profile picture on Twitter. Sales organizations who place a high priority on improving the salesperson’s skills have a significant advantage over the average company. Determining the priority of coaching in your organization is easy: how many hours a day/week does your VP of Sales spend coaching. Sales process Yoda and HubSpot’s VP of Sales wrote an excellent piece on 4 Steps to Metric-Driven Coaching.
Hire Like You’re Donald Trump – watch The Apprentice for one season and it becomes clear the value Donald Trump places on his open job positions. Episode after episode, one ambitious contestant is “fired,” leaving them with nothing but a lonely cab ride home. Intimidating potential hires like Donald may not be necessary, but maintaining high standards for new hires is essential to building a sales team. Insider tip: put new hires through your own hiring process and make sure each one fits with the core values of the company.
Mandate CRM Data-Entry – if you want to be a hard-ass, now is the time . We have not come across one, thriving sales organization that does not have the “if it’s not in Salesforce.com, it didn’t happen” mandate. The secret to making this mandate become the salesperson’s best friend is positioning the “why.” Insider tip: hopefully you’ve built trust with your team, if so, then it is important to communicate that entering data in the CRM helps identify their weakness and places focus on areas where you can coach them to improve.
Foster Friendly Competition: – some people are naturally gifted in sales, others work their tail off, and the rest find a new industry. Producing an environment where certain benchmarks and goals are transparent to the sales organization creates peer-pressure and group requirements. These are good. It sets the standard and focuses attention on who is the best. A great sales culture has an easy way to monitor monthly, weekly, and daily progress, so each sales reps know where they stand and more importantly how to improve their standards.
About Jon Birdsong