The Fundamentals of Sales Culture | Sales Training , Strategy and Sales Management Training Programs | Fusion Learning Inc
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The Fundamentals of Sales Culture

By Kevin Higgins

Fusion Learning completed a comprehensive survey of Sales and Human Resource Executives to study High Performance Sales Cultures. We learned a lot about sales culture and we learned (or is it re-learned, reinforced) that strong Sales Management and Sales Fundamentals must be present for a strong sales culture.

The model that has emerged from the research is:

High Performance Sales Culture has:

  • Connection to Clients/Customers that has two way communication and respect
  • Sales Strategy Knowledge and Execution, Sales Management and Strong Salespeople (adding up to Sales Performance)
  • Process, Systems, Sales Support, Structure and Measurement

Let's discuss some key findings that led to the model above.

Sales Strategy:

We were pleasantly surprised to see most organizations (75%) have a formalized, published sales strategy and 37% cover periods of 3+ years. The strategy is communicated and linked to the organization strategy. Where the issues arise is with the ‘Know-Do’ gap. When asked “if each member of the sales force uses the sales strategy to guide daily actions, and make operational decisions ” the average response was 5 out of 10. We KNOW the strategy but we are unclear what to DO with it. We did see that the salesforce is working somewhat effectively with other departments (72% rated working effectively as 6 out of 10 or higher).

Sales Management:

Sales Management appears to be the weak link in a High Performance Sales Culture! Sales Meetings are held monthly or less in 55% of companies and when they are held, their productivity is rated as 6 out of 10. Who really wants to go to a meeting that is a 6 out of 10? We are not saying it is possible for Sales Meetings to be 10 out of 10, but how about a consistent 8 out of 10? (Fusion Learning has a great learning module on Six Keys to Effective Sales Meetings).

Sales pipeline/funnel requires help – only 33% or organizations have an easy to follow process and when asked about the pipeline driving sales productivity, the average response was 4.7 out of 10. Feedback from Sales Managers to Salespeople must be challenging, because 44% of organizations do not have a model for providing feedback.

Fusion Learning sees sales as an hourly, daily and monthly activity. Sales Managers need tools and processes to help them keep energy, drive and motivation in the salesforce. How is your organization helping them stay at the top of their game? We would love to chat with you on this important topic.

Sales Capabilities:

Sales Fundamentals are critical to a High Performance Sales Culture and we all have an opportunity to continue to improve our fundamentals. When asked “if each member of the sales force is highly effective in the communication skills needed to secure sales and build strong Client relationships ” – the average response was a disappointing 5.8 out of 10, with 40% of organizations rating it as 5 out of 10 or less! We have known the fundamentals, been taught the fundamentals and practiced the fundamentals and we must continue to do all of the above.

Sales Culture:

Great news – according to survey results we have a culture of accountability and results with an average score of 7.4 out of 10 and 75% of organizations scoring 7 out of 10 or higher. There did appear to be opportunities around measuring activity metrics and other business measures.

In conclusion, a High Performance Sales Culture must have:

  • A strong connection to Clients/Customers that is centered on two-way communication and respect
  • Sales Strategy that is effectively communicated, and understood by the salesforce so that they know how to use it in helping them to make day-to-day decisions
  • Strength in the fundamentals of Sales Management and in the fundamentals of Selling
  • Excellence in Process, Systems, Sales Support, Structure and Measurement

Fusion Learning can help with the first three of these four success factors and we would welcome the opportunity to help your organization.

 

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