The Ingredients of a High-Performance Sales Culture
As we have shared previously, we are doing a series of posts of what we have observed superior sales organizations do to shape a High-Performance Sales Culture. Each post will feature one ingredient, followed by a few questions to challenge your thinking.
The 2nd ingredient of a High-Performance Sales Culture is Sales Leadership.
“Sales Leadership is not a spectator sport; you have to participate, you have to be personally involved in it. It’s not about sitting in the office or sticking to a process, or presiding over your salespeople. It’s all about active coaching, active participation. And it is a discipline; it’s not an art. You have to be involved.”
- Doug Elix – SVP Sales and Distribution, IBM
Superior selling organizations shape their futures by never being satisfied with today’s performance. An organization’s senior sales leaders set the direction and are the role models for enhancing the customer experience. They articulate clear values and high expectations. They embed customer value into the company’s core beliefs and operating systems.
Here are some of the things superior leaders embrace:
- The C-Suite has a drive-to-WIN and GROW bias. The CEO, CFO, COO and CMO are champions of the sales force.
- Senior Executives are active and involved with major accounts.
- Clear and achievable goals, a compelling WHY, and a strategy for Growth are defined and communicated all the time.
- The Sales Manager’s primary role is to Coach UP, observe salespeople in front of customers, and develop and serve them. As servant leaders, they display genuine caring and communicate high-trust. They teach, collaborate and seek individual excellence while promoting achievement of business goals.
- There is accountability, discipline and ownership for behaviors and results. One-on-ones are conducted with each salesperson monthly to review and challenge on goal achievement and major deals in play.
- Sales Leaders study each person’s “pipeline” and have a good handle on where the revenue will come from during any given 90-day period.
In summary, the ability of the sales leader to collaborate and tap the capacity of each individual, and to stretch the team and the organization to its potential is what develops employee engagement and team success.
Questions to Consider
- How often do your senior leaders visit your top customers?
- How often are 1:1s conducted with each salesperson?
- Are your managers on top of their business? Can they predict with some level of accuracy what their numbers will be in the next 30 days?
Next Up: People