In this 3-part blog series, I’m excited to share some powerful insights from a lively discussion I recently had with Mike Weinberg—top-performing sales coach on new business development & sales strategies, and author of Sales Management. Simplified and New Sales. Simplified—and Teradata’s own Karen Thomas, EVP of Americas Sales & Services.. Mike, Karen, and I talked at length about what it takes to build a truly world-class sales and services organization for sales professionals while at the same time building a culture of innovation in the greater company.
Part 2: Building A Strong Sales Culture
Highlights from our talk continue here with Part 2, Building A Strong Sales Culture—the importance of embracing competition and, from a sales operations perspective, how to align the rest of the organization to effectively support sales and services.
You’ve heard it before: excellence is not an accident. It takes more than a stroke of luck to transform a marginally performing sales team into a cohesive, dynamic sales operation—a lot more. And it begins with a purposeful approach to creating and nurturing a high-performance sales culture, from the inside out.
As a sales professional, I love the idea of a thriving sales culture, and I believe many companies have the best of intentions to create just that. After all, a sales culture is a philosophy that extends across the business; one that essentially reminds us that we are, in fact, a sales organization—and everything we do is a result of our ability to sell our products.
But I also believe many companies fall short; mainly because of a popular misnomer that sales culture is kind of a soft topic; that is, the belief that a healthy culture means going easy on your people. I think, in sales and services, that couldn't be further from the truth. A truly healthy sales culture strikes an effective balance between respect and appreciation for the talents of your sales team against firm accountability.
It’s the perfect storm, a sales culture trifecta if you will: It’s all about goals, results, and support.
A high-performance sales culture equals high-performance in both metrics and achievement—and sales teams love it! Recognition is something our sales culture thrives on, because those that drive results want to be identified as top performers. In effect, their recognition lets them stand out as the people who are driving value not only for Teradata, but also for the customers we serve.
Top producers, by nature, are results-minded and highly competitive. What’s important is recognizing the value of the sales team as a whole. Nothing happens without an extended organization to support sales. They are front and center, so it’s critical to recognize that they’re the ones taking risks—the ones out in front of the customer day after day.
One of the really exciting things we see at Teradata is a pull-through effect; the sales support that engages from teams across the organization. It’s clear that people want to be part of successful, winning teams. Whether it’s professional services, the product organization or marketing, everyone wants to take part in our successes and winning results.
Empowering a sales and services team with sound credibility—so they instantly gain recognition in areas Teradata excels at to drive business value—is all part of the ongoing support that helps build a foundation for promoting a successful sales culture.
Part 1 - The Role of the Front Line Manager
Part 3 - Plan The Attack