Each week I talk to a business owner who is frustrated over his or her company’s lack of consistent sales growth. They all recognize that their business doesn’t have the structure, processes and accountability in place to create the sustained top line growth desired. But what they don’t often realize is that creating a “Sales-driven” culture is where they must start their journey.
The development of a “Sales-driven” culture starts and ends with the business owner. The business owner needs to recognize that the foundation of this culture shift generates from the tone they set towards focus and accountability within their company. While Sales structure and processes are needed elements, without a determined and sustained focus towards new client acquisition, matched with accountability by both management and sales, the culture transformation won’t occur.
Some key elements to a “Sales-driven” culture shift include:
- Creation of a sales strategy based on the company’s financial and marketing goals which is understood by everyone.
- Weekly and mandatory sales meetings, with agendas and accountability, led by the business owner or a highly capable VP of Sales.
- The business owner and other company leaders regularly traveling with the sales people and visiting new target clients. Remember, the customer location is the “office” for the sales person, and their performance needs to be evaluated in their workplace, not the company headquarters.
- A tight interface and communication between Sales and other functions of the company towards sales execution. The business owner, Finance and Operations need to be aligned with Sales to work together on new customer identification and client development activity to make sure the right new customers are earned, and the organization is ready to receive them.
- An account pipeline tool must exist, with mandatory usage, with the information transparent to all functions of the company for forecasting and resource planning. Further, sales people must be held fully accountable when they slip and fail to provide accurate and timely client updates as the information is very impactful to company growth, and equally important, to an evolution of trust towards the sales team.
Creating a “Sales-driven” culture is more important than ever to sustained business growth. The business owner must assume this unique and critical leadership role guiding the company cultural evolution. Today’s complex and challenging business environment demands a very tight connection, linking focus, execution and accountability to create the transformation enabling consistent top line growth.