A WORD FROM DUANE SPARKS
Dear Sales Executive:
If you wanted to measure the strength of your company’s sales culture, how would you go about it? Would you even know where to start?
“Culture” is a slippery concept, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be evaluated in a meaningful way. Since building a great sales culture is the most important challenge facing every sales leader, it’s worth looking at this issue more carefully.
Shall we begin?
If you have a question about how—and why—to create a great sales culture in your organization, click on “Ask The eCoach“.
We are committed to your professional success.
Author of Action Selling
HOW STRONG IS YOUR SALES CULTURE?
In our last edition, we looked at why it is critical for sales leaders to take on the challenge of building a great sales culture. But, how good is your sales culture right now? How would you know?
To begin with, you’d want to focus on your sales force. Here is a little tool you might find helpful. Obviously, it won’t give you a full and detailed picture of the current strength of your sales culture, but it does give you a starting point. The checklist highlights a number of key factors that have a substantial impact on sales cultures. Improve in these areas, and you can begin to make a huge difference.
Rank your sales team in the following areas:
Rate the “Goodness” of Your Sales Culture
Now add your scores and evaluate your sales force as follows:
Sales Culture Score Range Description
50 – 60 Your sales culture is topnotch and you must be too!
40 – 49 You have a very good sales culture, but there might be a few opportunities for improvement.
30 – 39 Your sales culture is average and has several areas to improve.
12 – 29 Lots of work to do. Glad you are reading this!
Now the plot thickens. While it makes sense to start by improving your sales team, you’ll have to do more than that if you want to create a great sales culture in your company. You also must improve your sales leadership. And, last but not least, you must improve everyone around your sales team who comes into contact with customers. Yes, every customer-facing employee.
That means you face a three-pronged challenge. Here is an illustration showing how we approach it:
We’ll talk more about this challenge next time. For now, just remember that it is possible to gauge the strength of your sales culture in a useful way. That gives you a starting point from which to build.
For a fuller discussion of how and why to take on the challenge of building a great sales culture, download our free white paper, Want a Better Sales Culture?
Action Selling in Action
Most companies wouldn’t think about trying to build a sales culture in a team of technicians or engineers. Engineers usually recoil from the word “sales” as if it were a snake. That’s the challenge Mark Martin faced, as North American sales director for Fluke Calibration, when he went looking for a way to improve his technical team’s customer-communication skills.
The answer came from Action Selling, and especially from our Customer Relationship Professional (CRP) program.
“I suspected we were making mistakes when we interacted with customers, and we were losing business because of it,” Martin says. “But we were still a little embarrassed when we started our training with The Sales Board and found out how many mistakes we were making. We had major flaws in our approach to everything from planning customer calls to presenting our solutions and gaining commitments.”
“Our consulting skills are now far better,” he continues, “not because we learned new technology, but because we are so much better at identifying the needs of our customers and connecting our solutions to those needs. We didn’t have a strong sales culture. Now we do.”
For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.
Learn more about the critical task of building a great sales culture. See our free white paper,
Want a Better Sales Culture?