“Do you REALLY want a high-performing, winning sales culture?”
The question seems straight forward enough, yet be careful what you wish for. The answer is not the “no-brainer” one may think…
The key to building a winning sales teams is committing to building a winning sales team...
While most CEOs/Owners/Sales Managers strive to have a culture of strong productivity, results-orientation and accountability, the truth is many are not ready to commit to building a winning culture.
Many CEOs/Owners/Sales Managers are stuck with one foot in the “I like my existing team even though they may not be the best performers” bucket, and the other foot in the bucket of “I want hard-charging, results-oriented sales talent to drive my company’s bottom-line forward”.
The truth is many CEOs/Owners/Sales Managers want to build winning sales teams and companies but are really committed to the mediocre team they currently have.
You cannot build a winning sales team by keeping all your sales losers
We have navigated these troubling waters many times… Early in the discovery process with our prospective Client partners, we seek to understand what exactly their vision is for the desired sales culture; “What does success really look like?”
Invariably, we get responses like: “winners”, “competitive”, “results oriented”, “resilient” and “hard charging”, and the list goes on.
All that sound great in theory, but good theories do not pay the bills, appease shareholders or ensure job security.
So the second big question we answer is, “What does your current culture/team look like?”
This is where the potential culture clash begins to materialize for the CEO/Owner/Sales Manager, whether they admit it or not…
The truth is many sales teams are filled with losers who will never leave
Upon assessing the existing team with our Sales TriMetrix® HD assessment and running comparative analysis, we often find the current sales talent does not reflect the desired future culture. While some seem genuinely surprised when we share our findings, others readily admit that they have known this for some time (but still have done nothing to correct it).
No matter how intelligent and strong the acumen of the CEO/Owner/Sales Manager, hiring a more pure strand of Sales DNA talent will end in failure if he or she is not ready to deal with the impending culture clash.
What do you get when you mix sales wolves and losers?
You get more losers.
When the new crop of sales talent that you so diligently selected comes into the organization armed with the desired sales style, values, and strong business acumen, they will naturally look around to see who else is on this team and begin to make comparisons.
Quickly, your new sales wolves will sniff out the pretenders that were holdovers from the previous culture and wonder why/how they are at the same “table” as them. Then they will look to you, the leader, and wonder how you can allow this mediocrity, especially after you recently “sold” them on your vision of “hard-charging”, “results oriented”, accountable sales culture.
Naturally, the next thing they do is question your leadership, and once that happens, you have lost them.
What happens next is predictable.
- Your best salespeople leave – Many leave to find a real sales performance focused culture. They expect to win – to be pushed – to leave a legacy.
- Your best salespeople quit and stay – Some stay and become “fat and happy” because it does not take much to outshine the others and they can be a big fish in your “pond”. When this happens, you have successfully neutered your strong job fit sales talent.
Five critical steps to creating a winning sales culture
- Set the vision and commit to it. Decide to shift your sales culture to “winning is the only game”.
- Identify the true potential of your existing sales team using a valid sales personality aptitude test to create a “sales talent inventory”. You cannot improve what you do not measure.
- Design the strategy to effectively address the core issue (not the symptoms) of your current mediocrity and align with your expected outcomes.
- Commit to, and Execute the plan. (One foot in, one foot out doesn’t work.) Hire sales wolves and remove low performers.
- Accountability, and I am not talking about your sales people, I am talking about you as the leader. Hold yourself accountable for creating your sales culture. Ultimately, your sales culture is whatever you allow it to be.