Unleashing Sales Success—The Power of Systems, Culture and Accountability

Written By: Performance Development Group

June 14, 2023 – 5 min read

Sales enablement technologies and resources have changed the game, but not always for the better. In fact, many sales teams are now drowning in data and spending less than 30% of their time actually selling. With only about 25% of sales reps consistently hitting their targets, it’s time to rethink our approach. This article explores how systems, culture, and accountability can drive sales success.

Streamlining Systems and Processes for Better Results

Systems refers to the tools, technologies, and processes you use to run your business. If your sales tech stack and processes are creating bottlenecks, miscommunications, and interruptions in workflow, you need to reevaluate them. It is crucial to regularly assess and optimize your systems to ensure they are meeting the current demands of your customers and business; however, it is not enough to deploy the latest tools and platforms without first having the proper strategies in place to ensure their success. The key lies in your ability to operationalize the behaviors needed to use the technology effectively in order to increase performance.

Training is the foundation for leveraging any system’s full potential. Users must first understand its capabilities and limitations, adapt that knowledge to their needs, and integrate it into their workflow. Making the leap from “knowing” to “doing” and then “consistently doing well” requires a process of operationalizing the behaviors needed to use the technology effectively.

Building a Winning Culture to Attract and Retain Top Talent

According to Forbes, the average sales turnover rate in the United States is around 35% and the average tenure is 18 months. That represents a 50% decline since 2010. To attract and retain top talent, one of the critical areas sales leaders should focus on is cultivating a positive culture. A positive culture ensures that reps receive the resources and motivational support they need to perform at their best. A positive culture promotes transparency of information, idea sharing, collaboration, and risk taking. In addition, it fosters a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose, which leads to higher levels of engagement, confidence, and job satisfaction.

The average sales turnover rate in the United States is around 35% and the average tenure is 18 months. That represents a 50% decline since 2010. These numbers are simply too high to ignore.

Onboarding is a new hire’s first experience with your company’s culture. It’s essential to instill confidence that they have landed at ‘the right’ company and will be provided with the knowledge, support, and opportunities to succeed in their role. This includes training on company tools, products, compliance, and sales techniques and providing them with access to the technologies and resources necessary to perform their job effectively.

When sales reps feel supported and empowered, they’re more likely to be motivated to perform well and achieve their goals and feel a sense of loyalty and commitment to the organization. An increased sense of employee satisfaction helps reduce employee turnover and improve overall team performance.

What about a negative culture and onboarding experience? We see poor sales culture manifest in several ways. When team members feel unsupported or undervalued, they are likely to become disengaged, lose confidence, perform the bare minimum, or leave the organization. All of this contributes to poor customer service, lost productivity, decreased morale, and can negatively impact the company’s bottom line.

Embracing Accountability at All

Where culture and systems intersect, accountability helps ensure you drive the behaviors needed for transformation. Without accountability at every level of the organization, life science sales teams have everything to lose, including trust in the industry, and ultimately, jeopardizing their own success and reputation.

A 2018-2019 study of over 900 sales leaders revealed that sales teams with a high level of accountability achieve a win rate of 55.2%, while those with low accountability only achieve a win rate of 41.7%.

Leaders serve as the pillars of accountability, upholding and reinforcing its importance throughout the organization. Part of an effective plan for accountability involves setting clear expectations, fostering open communication, and consistently monitoring and evaluating performance to ensure long-term success.

Accountability doesn’t only refer to the sales leaders; it applies to all levels of the organization:

  • The individual needs to be held accountable for their own performance and communicate what they need to be successful.
  • The leader must be held accountable for the success of their teams — if the leader is not in-tune with their team’s abilities and motivation to meet targets, then they are not coaching effectively.
  • The leaders of leaders are accountable for the satisfaction, motivation, engagement, and overall success of not only their direct reports but the entire teams below them. They are essentially the coaches of coaches.

In Summary

Sales teams are spending less time selling due to the overwhelming amount of information and data they need to process. To improve results, leaders need to operationalize the behaviors required to use these systems and tools more effectively and create a culture of accountability, including proper onboarding, coaching, and feedback throughout the employee lifecycle. Ensuring your systems, culture, and accountability are all aligned you can create an organization that supports and motivates sales reps to perform at their best.

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