$4M worth of new deals - what does sales culture have to do with this?
Duck yeah! Two weeks back, we were able to close deals worth $4M in one single week. I admit, that there was some luck involved that all of them were closed within a week, but it does not remove the fact that we needed to work really hard to get those deals and here is where the sales culture kicks in.
Having been in sales for a long time both as an individual contributor and as Head of Sales, it is very obvious that without an organization-wide sales culture, there might be a few high performing individuals who are doing really well, but the average performance level of the whole team is less than optimal.
So what are the common behaviours that high performing sales teams usually demonstrate? (This is just my humble opinion.)
- Stay curious - By nature, each and every customer-facing person wants to understand the customer’s business, goals, challenges and internal capabilities, just to name few.
- Elevate your customer - We are here for our customers and we want to serve them well. Sometimes, this also includes challenging the customer if we see that their plans include elements that could be done differently to gain better results. A high level of customer service attitude also includes treating each and every single customer, no matter what their size or potential, with the same level of service.
- Challenge yourself - As a team and also as individuals, the best way to accelerate the learning pace is to jump out of the comfort zone and embrace the learning opportunity, no matter if it feels very uncomfortable from time to time.
- Never give up - This is a concept that has become very familiar to me from my martial arts hobbies and it applies to sales as well. For sure, there are moments when it would be easier to just let go, but in these moments, each individual and the team must focus on how the obstacles could be overcome, and thus, continue the journey toward a successful closure of the deal.
- Make bold moves - This is probably the most difficult one in most occasions. What I mean with this, is that we need to be able to think out of the box while working on a solution that we are proposing to the customer or when we are thinking of the strategy that we are going to have in a sales opportunity. Quite often, the bold moves require also going out of the comfort zone and having a 'never give up' attitude.
- Sharing learnings from lost deals - A lost deal is worth celebrating, as the biggest learnings come from these. Sharing the process and what possibly went wrong to the rest of the organization is nothing to be ashamed about, as having a 100% hit rate on deals is not possible.
The list could go on and on, but I wanted to point out the key elements that I see to be most crucial for high-performing organizations. There are naturally other things which contribute to success, such as higher level company culture like we have at Vincit, but that needs another post to cover it.