Tips for Sales Management: How to Create a Company Sales Culture Through Onboarding
The success of a sales team depends on the culture in which they are immersed. Without an active sales culture, you are asking for mediocrity from your sales reps which brings mediocre performance and numbers.
One way to begin to define a culture that excels and drives revenue is to set the specific expectations of sales reps and help them succeed. This begins with the onboarding process.
At XANT, every new employee goes through a two-week onboarding course. During this two-week “sales boot-camp,” the participants become certified on XANT products. The aspects that make up a successful onboarding process are simple. At XANT the process is:
- An introductory first day of typical new-hire HR paperwork;
- Exposure to the company culture at XANT;
- A discussion of company history with a sales oriented focus;
- An overview of the life of a customer from lead to client;
- Introduction and certification on the products sold and how they work;
- Meeting the key players within the organization (C-level, management, peers, etc.); and
- A tour of the office and shadowing in the new-hire’s position.
Processes such as these drastically increase the ability of a sales culture to be established and maintained. You can see that it’s important that it start at the top. When management sets clear expectations about goals and there are well defined processes for achieving those goals, adoption of these processes becomes more likely. Lead by example!
In addition to a thorough knowledge of products, those who participate in the course learn the culture of XANT – “Everyone’s in Sales!” This phrase has almost become an inside joke within our organization. At every company meeting, our CEO, Dave Elkington, will ask us, “Who in here is in sales?” In response, the entire room raises their hands. This culture is instilled in all employees during onboarding.
“During onboarding at XANT, we have every department in the company share their specific functions,” one of the Education Specialists at XANT said. “This way every employee, from HR to Support, can see that they are needed in order to sell our product, support our clients, and help our company succeed.”
For example, the marketing department is just as involved in sales as any sales rep on who spends their day on the phone. “I am in sales in two ways,” a marketing manager at XANT said. “First, everything I produce needs to portray the company in a professional and credible light. Second, and most immediate, is that I generate quality leads that are sent to the sales team.”
Putting these processes in place doesn’t mean that any previous culture vanishes. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The difference is that it has to come from authority. Whether it’s the CEO, the VP of Sales, or a Sales Manager – or all levels repeating the same message – with the right example and well defined processes, any company can have a sales-centered focus.
“At XANT, we all contribute to sales,” our Education Specialist said. “We all are here to help our company succeed and when the company is based on an intricate product, the best way to contribute is to know the product and figure out how it can help customers. When our customers succeed, we succeed.”
How do you ensure that your company succeeds? Is your company culture sales oriented? Let us know in the comment box below.
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