Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Building a Successful Sales Culture

By Asher Raphael, guest blogger, Power Home Remodeling Group
At my company, we devote a good deal of time to evaluating and measuring employee performance, and linking that data back to initiatives, benefits and programs to provide our employees with the tools they need to thrive. We've found success with the following principles when trying to determine how to build a culture of successful sales representatives:
Training makes a difference: At Power, all employees undergo an extensive training program when they first join our team. No matter the position, each new employee is educated on all aspects of the business, providing them with a thorough background and the confidence that comes with feeling like an educated, invested member of a team. Develop a training program that is right for your company, and take the time to ensure that each new hire completes the program before their daily duties begin to pile up. An employee who is well-versed on the company’s history, mission and process will be better prepared to offer stellar customer service, increased sales numbers, and a number of other valuable benefits.
Incentivize them: It almost goes without saying that if you give your employees incentives their performance is likely to improve. We’ve offered perks in the form of bonuses, tickets to sporting events, and even cash to motivate our sales representatives to hit their goals. Determining what types of incentives to offer can be a challenge — especially for smaller businesses dealing with limited budgets. If you’re struggling to provide incentives on a shoestring, consider offering extra vacation, work from home or personal days as motivating factors. Your best sounding board when trying to find out which incentives will work for your sales force — is your sales force! Consider conducting an informal poll to get some ideas going, and develop an incentive program that works for your company and inspires the associates that are working hard for you.
A little acknowledgement goes a long way: One integral component of a culture that breeds happy and successful employees is an internal communications strategy that acknowledges individuals and teams when their hard work pays off. Whether it’s through an all-staff email, a personal phone call to top producers, or a quarterly company newsletter, make sure you recognize the hard work of your employees on a consistent basis. Employees who know that their efforts are appreciated are more likely to continue to deliver — and to stay with a company that acknowledges their talents.
At the end of the day, a company’s culture is only as good as its employees, so don’t neglect to recognize the importance of implementing a strategic hiring process in addition to the ideas mentioned above.
Just a few weeks ago, we were thrilled to find out that Power was named one of the “50 Best Companies to Sell For” by Selling Power Magazine. While creating a culture that inspires our employees to exceed expectations on a number of levels might be a challenge, it is also an essential investment in the overall success and growth of our company.
Do you have an incentive program in place at your company that rewards sales staff for meeting or exceeding their goals? Has this been a successful approach? Why or why not? Please take the poll below to share your strategy and post a comment about your experience.
How Do You Incentivize your Sales People to Hit Their Goals?
Company-wide recognition programs
None of the above
A mix of the above