Sales Effectiveness Starts with Culture and the Right Metrics

May 18, 2015 Anil Somaney

Note: Anil Somaney is presenting at the upcoming Webinar: “Expanding the Opportunity Pipeline: Getting from Contact to Quote in Record Timeon Wednesday, May 20 at 9 am PDT.

We spend a lot of time at discussing how our platform and its applications help companies accelerate their sales process, improve sales effectiveness, and ultimately increase revenue. We have a lot to offer, but it’s nice to step back, speak with customers, and see what they can teach us.

Recently, I spent some time with a marketing firm in South Texas. They’ve been a supporter of our technology for quite some time. I wanted to learn not only what they thought of our platform, but also what makes their organization unique.

I wasn’t disappointed. The moment I stepped onto the sales floor, I was welcomed by the high energy of their reps. People were engaged, laughing and moving all around.

I was impressed when the company’s senior operations manager mentioned their low attrition rate. That’s rare in an industry that suffers from high turnover. I asked how the company had built such a successful sales team and culture. By the end of our visit, I’d learned a few things worth sharing.

Leadership and training

One of the biggest contributors to sales turnover is a lack of leadership and training. Because sales professionals are known to be self-sufficient, many organizations offer them very little direction. This organization has broken from that mindset.

For starters, they have a high manager-to-sales rep ratio. The number of managers exceeds the number of reps. That means reps always have access to assistance and advice, which dramatically decreases the learning curve and ramp-up times for new hires.

On top of that, they have multiple trainings a day for their reps, and optional trainings on Saturday. This ensures reps are always up to date on best practices and creates an environment where they can promote a more team-oriented approach to selling.

Selling against themselves

Interviews work a lot like sales calls. Not only do candidates try to sell themselves, but recruiters should also be selling the company as a great place to work.

In a move that might seem counterintuitive, this small company sells against itself. Its recruiters are completely upfront about their high expectations and demanding culture. This approach weeds out mediocre talent and protects their company culture.

It’s all about the metrics

Finally, while everything I saw was impressive, it was the metrics-focused culture that stood out most. They measure the performance of their entire organization, not just sales reps. Recruiters have quotas they need to hit, and they have a designated data team that focuses specifically on lead scoring.

Tomorrow, I will be joining PROS for a webinar on Expanding the Opportunity Pipeline, where you can more about the role data plays in improving sales effectiveness. Hope to see you there.

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