Chief Mentor and Cofounder, TalentSumo
Every B2B tech startup is focused on building the next best technology, however, every sales team has a sales culture, and it's important to keep that culture in check from time to time. After all, the sales culture is a pivotal element in driving the sales numbers crucial for any startup's success. This post features five ways to improve your sales culture through the power of data, asking better questions, using smarter tactics, and more.
#1 - Review Process, Pipeline, And Parameters
Establish a periodic cadence to review the sales process and the sales assets like white papers, videos, etc. to ensure that the sales pitch around the technology still resonates with the audience. The pipeline health and the number of prospects at each stage of the sales cycle conveys critical information about the health of the startup. It’s the parameters like lead closing time, contract signing time, and other key parameters that can give clues towards the critical bottlenecks that exist.
#2 - Create a Culture of Asking Questions and Visualizing With Data
Asking creative and thoughtful “what if” questions is the key to unlocking a lot of progress. Advanced and easy to build visualization tools like Tableau makes it easy today. The sales team should use these visualization tools so that the business can quickly determine which levers it should pull in order to accelerate the sales performance. Over time, building this sales analytics capability is critical for the B2B business.
#3 - Improve Your Sales Calls and Onboarding Process
The way we interact with prospects and customers has a profound impact on nurturing and retaining the customers. The more we tune into their world and get out of the specifications of the technology – surprisingly – the better the experience of the customer becomes. Whether it is a sales call or on-boarding the customer, each interaction is an opportunity to pull the customer towards the technical ecosystem that we are building. Videos are playing an increasingly important role in nurturing and onboarding, a video-based outreach playbook is definitely the key.
#4 - Build The Right Incentives and Leader Board
Awards motivate everyone and the basic laws of economics state that we can change behaviors with the right incentives. However, it's prudent that we target the right behavior and understand the implications with a small pilot before its full-scale implementation.
For example, an effort for more prospecting outreach may result in unnecessary bulk emails and higher bounce rates – a strategy better avoided by reputed marketers. Hence, a careful exercise to find the key sales behavior and re-enforcing them is critical. Many startups are building remote sales teams, but these tips can be used by anyone looking to build a great sales culture.
#5 - Choose One Issue To Improve, Set a Priority Level For Others
Implementation is everything – any retrospective will likely bring out many issues that are blocking the sales performance. Rather than concentrating on everything, it’s worth deciding what could move the needle for the client before initiating action.
A lot of the above are behavioral changes that can only be enforced over
longer periods of time. Culture is never built in a day – and when it is
built, it can be difficult to change. Thus, it’s wiser to be cognizant of the
sales culture that we are building within the startup from the early days. It is the best investment a startup can make for its growth.
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