Do You Have a Great Sales Culture?


Part of developing a great sales culture means hiring excellent people. When it’s time to bring in another sales rep, managers often want to find someone who appears to be identical to the person they need to replace. Or, if the department is expanding, managers will seek a candidate who, on paper or by reputation, matches the reps they have in the department.

Use Assessments When Hiring

When you’re hiring, especially if you need more than one rep, you have the perfect opportunity to build a great sales culture. One core element of a successful sales culture is hiring reps with the behavioral and work tendencies that match your sales methodology. In the popular Challenger style of selling, your high performing reps are the ones who take charge of the conversation with prospects. They challenge themselves to learn what they need to know in order to succeed. And they also challenge prospects to think about their business problems in new ways. One of these new ways of thinking, of course, is to use your solution to solve their problems.

To ensure that the candidates you want to hire possess the right motivations and work style to succeed in your organization, give them a sales skill and psychometric assessment. The best assessments will reveal if you have a true challenger before you or a person who likely uses a different sales approach such as problem solving. And while a psychometric assessment will reveal if a rep is coachable, the sales skill assessment will indicate where coaching will help most. These results can be particularly helpful if you think a candidate has other skills and characteristics you are seeking. If they are coachable, they’ll be able to learn a new sales methodology with help from you. Using assessments will help a manager develop a great sales culture.

Coach the Right Way

Once you hire your perfect sales rep, you need to guide them with initial training on your product and services. They’ll also need to learn about the kinds of clients you serve and how they make purchase decisions. To excel, your reps must have coaching. Our research shows that around 40% of sales reps get coaching only once or twice a month. Many reps believe coaching shows that their manager and their organization care about them. When reps (38%) sense that the organization only cares about the bottom line, they’ll move on. You can maximize the benefits of your coaching outcomes, and improve rep loyalty, by focusing on the sales skills that need the most improvement, as shown in your rep’s assessment.

Celebrate Success

One way to help your reps feel they are part of a strong organization with a great sales culture is to celebrate success. Many of your reps will enjoy the prestige that comes with being a part of the president’s club and traveling with senior executives to a popular resort. They’ll see this event as an opportunity to increase their visibility in the organization.

Beyond that, you may want to personally recognize each rep in your group after they land a huge account. Receiving a gift certificate to an exclusive restaurant during a team meeting will thrill some reps. Other team members will appreciate the chance to study for a certification at the company’s expense.

Your Great Sales Culture

Developing a great sales culture requires commitment. Using a sales skill and psychometric assessment can help you bring the right people into your organization. When you apply the information in the assessment results to coach your reps, their engagement and the team culture will improve.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.