How To Create A Cultural Transformation For Your Inside Sales Team

Do you want to learn how to begin a cultural transformation within your sales team so you’ll become a more dynamic organization? In this episode of Sales Secrets, I talk to Craig Parrish, VP of Inside Sales at McAfee.

RELATED: How To Create A Winning Culture

In this article:

  1. About My Guest — Craig Parrish, VP of Inside Sales, McAfee
    1. Build Different Tracks for Career Growth Within Your Organization
    2. Turn Diversity and Inclusion Into Your Team’s Cultural Pillars
    3. Authenticity Activates Dramatic Cultural Shifts
    4. Small Investments in Motivating Your Team Pay Huge Dividends
    5. Blueprint Processes With Your Team

Cultural Transformation | How to Change the Team Dynamics of Sales Teams

About My Guest — Craig Parrish, VP of Inside Sales, McAfee

Parris has been in McAfee for 19 years. He has helped lead their management to shift their work culture into a more engaging, motivational, and empowering one. Here, he shares the secrets that helped him create a cultural shift in their organization.

1. Build Different Tracks for Career Growth Within Your Organization

According to Parrish, they first build commitment in their organization by focusing their recruitment efforts for their sales team on individuals who want careers.

The McAfee Inside Sales Team makes sure it fulfills its promise of career growth in order to stay relevant in a competitive local job market. The Dallas-Fort Worth area, where the company is based, has an unemployment rate of -10%, so the team sees people as a premium.

Once the new employees are in, they have many choices for movement within McAfee. New hires have to learn to acquiesce to business development roles as account executives and learn the inner workings of the team culture.

After one or two years, they become Senior Account Managers and enter the high potential list within the organization. At this stage, they can work in the field sales offices where they will be engaging with Fortune 1000 clients, customers, and partners. They can also move into other offices like Marketing or higher up in the Inside Sales Management ladder.

2. Turn Diversity and Inclusion Into Your Team’s Cultural Pillars

Parrish said that the people at McAfee made a decision to be inclusive and diverse. They’ve realized that people separate their personal life personas from their work personas. This move is to “encourage people to become their full selves and be present.”

There’s also a matter of breaking physical walls in the office.

In the early 2000s, the McAfee office sported high walls and each employee occupied cubicles, with some blocking off their spaces with shower curtains. They did away with the traditional interiors and went for amoeba-shaped cubes to foster more interactions. Parrish says this allowed them to create a lot of vibe and energy which they harness to create solutions and do the best for their customers.

“Inclusion is a big difference,” he says.

3. Authenticity Activates Dramatic Cultural Shifts

teamwork succesful meeting | How to Create A Cultural Transformation for Your Inside Sales Team | cultural shift

Creating an authentic, productive company culture

“Authenticity is the most important thing,” Parrish said. “We’ve seen companies try to adopt things and it feels very forced.” Members of the organization need to live and breathe the values and ideas management is prescribing, even before they’re brought down. It has to be part of your DNA and this is what people sniff out,” Parrish added.

If concepts are alien to the people in a company, the workers themselves will think at the back of their minds that these ideas are just propaganda aimed to make them work harder.

4. Small Investments in Motivating Your Team Pay Huge Dividends

By working around your team’s values DNA, you’ll be able to identify key behaviors you’d want to measure and reward. You’ll be able to create recognition around these behaviors to boost your team’s motivation.

For example, in stand-up meetings, leaders can recognize the achievements the day before and cite one or two individuals who stood out. Managers can then also throw out challenges to the team for hitting specific targets.

Recognizing your team doesn’t take a lot of money or time investment, but managers will reap a lot of inputs from this process.

RELATED: How To Optimize An Inherited Sales Team w/Brad Moore @PersonifyCorp

5. Blueprint Processes With Your Team

Sales is a results-based business, but you can’t manage results. What members of the team can do is to create behaviors and updates that influence opportunity creation.

Essentially this means you’ll have to set a lot of time to show members of the team how to do specific tasks, like performing a customer review, how to set up a sales meeting, illustrate what the follow-up process looks like, etc.

Parrish says that at McAfree, they try to blueprint things just to show their team that management wants to engage with them and work together. By creating the process with team members, sales leaders are effectively saying that they want to go on a journey together with their colleagues.

Managers should say: “Let’s go to the beginning together.” If managers simply throw things at their co-workers, they will follow the processes, but they won’t own it.

Achieving a winning company culture goes a long way in motivating employees, which will definitely bring success to a company. While the road to creating it isn’t as simple as 1, 2, 3, creating even small ripples in your organization can contribute heavily to shifting your workplace culture.

Does your organization need a cultural transformation? Why? What’s the state of your sales team right now? Let’s talk about what kind of cultural changes you’d like to see happen to your team.

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