Building a Positive and Productive Sales Culture.

Nick Chitty
VP of Sales
Read Time: 4 minutes
October 3, 2022

Building a positive and productive sales culture is essential for the success and growth of any business, and comes with a wide range of benefits not just to the team as individuals but to the business, and its customers.

By focusing on building an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and inspired to do their best work. It also helps foster collaboration, communication, and trust between team members, not to mention the added value to the bottom line.

What does a “positive and productive culture” mean?

Having a positive and productive sales culture is not just about fun activities, Friday drinks or branded swag (although we all love branded swag); it’s about creating an atmosphere where everyone feels supported to succeed. It’s important to ensure that all team members are respected, feel comfortable asking for help and bringing their ideas to the table, as well as be acknowledged and rewarded for their efforts.

With the implementation of the right tactics, it is possible to establish a sales office culture that fosters positivity, productivity, collaboration, innovation, and success.

Why is a positive office culture important for sales?

A. Performance

Sales is a high-pressure environment. There are targets to be met and bonuses to be made. It is also very easily impacted by the mood in the room. When it’s cooking, everyone is there to play and they feed off of each other's energy in booking deals left, right and centre. But when the mood is down, it can be incredibly hard to get out of a slump.

B. Mental Health

A positive office culture is important for anyone, not just sales.

With a large chunk of our lives spent at work, it’s vital that it’s an enjoyable place to be as the impact of this on mental health is huge. Low mental health can negatively impact work, meaning missing targets, feeling bad about it and so on. It can be an incredibly hard cycle to get out of.

C. Staff Turnover

This is not a hard concept to understand. If the office culture is not enjoyable, people will look for something else and move on. And that comes with its own set of complications and costs; disruption to the sales cycle and the rest of the team, the lost cost of training and onboarding, and the additional cost of hiring someone new.

Ways to build a positive and productive office culture

Sales can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding roles in any organisation. With an evolving technology landscape, strong competition and daily objections it’s crucial to ensure that your team are equipped for success. To a large extent, this can be effectively achieved by businesses that create ambitious but achievable goals, by utilising an appropriate tech stack and formulating efficient processes.

However, teams thrive when individuals feel supported, positively challenged, and ultimately within an environment that allows them to progress. Here are a few ideas:

1. Office banter

It may seem basic, but allow staff to be themselves. Whether it's a bit of humour, talking about the footy score or last night’s Ted Lasso episode, let your staff bring their whole selves to work. When they feel comfortable, they perform and they’ll want to perform. The “water cooler” chats that were so evidently absent during extended lockdowns and in the remote working era are back and for good reason.

2. Celebrate the wins

While it’s easy to move on to the next deal, take the time to celebrate sales wins no matter how big or small, and build a culture of celebrating each other - it shouldn’t always come from the boss.

The celebration doesn’t have to be big either. A “fist bump” and a few words about how well someone made the call or the behind-the-scenes effort they put in to land a deal can mean just as much as a voucher.

It's important not to forget that behind every individual win is a larger team effort. Recognition of involvement in successful wins is critical to ensuring alignment from top-of-the-funnel marketing, SDR outreach, Sales support technicians and the closer!

3. Regular social events

It goes without saying that regular social events help to foster relationships within the team.

This is also a great way to show employees that their hard work and dedication in valued, helping to create an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie, leading to better communication and higher levels of productivity.

Regular team socials reinforce a strong team ethos and allow employees to celebrate together.

4. Friendly competition

Friendly competition never hurt anyone, and salespeople by nature love to be challenged and to compete. Monthly or quarterly targets are useful in keeping everyone focused and competitive but equally important are micro challenges. One-off incentives such as "first to land a deal in this market", "objection bingo" or "first to 5 calls in an hour" help to keep motivation up. The rewards could range from Uber Eats vouchers, an extra day of annual leave or a bonus top-up.

5. Clear commission structure

There is nothing worse than working around a complicated commission structure, especially if built in a way where motivation can be lost halfway through the month because targets are unlikely to be met. Setting hard yet achievable goals where success is financially celebrated helps to keep everyone firing.

High-pressure environments like sales need managers to be clear on their expectations and targets, and how to address not meeting targets if/when this happens.

6. Flexible working

It’s 2023 and flexible working is here to stay. Every workplace is different and therefore “flexible working” will be different for each. For some, this will mean WFH days, for others, it might be flexible start and end times.

Key among this is valuing your sales team's time, both in and out of the office. 9-to-5 doesn’t necessarily mean results. Results mean results, and an environment of trust builds productivity.

7. The right tools

Setting a sales team up for success requires the right tools, processes and training to remove frustrations and keep everyone productive. One of the worst ways to lose a deal is due to some technical or process problem.

Sales teams need to be supported with the right tools. Tools to assist in communication, document signing, relationship management, presentation giving etc.

Tools like SmartChat for lead generation, Slack for team communication, for project management, Canva for presentations, Zoom for video calls, SimilarWeb for market research, DocuSign for contracts and so on.

Learn More About SmartChat - Book Demo Now

Perks don’t drive culture, but work satisfaction helps

Perks are a great way to show your team they are valued but this does not equate to a good culture. With the rise in tech sales, perks have become incredibly commonplace but this won’t fill the gap when someone is unhappy in their role.

A fitness allowance, while great, won’t factor into decision-making if there is no job satisfaction. Focus first on creating an environment where your team feels fulfilled in their work, and then provide the added bonus of perks.

Positive & Productive Sales Culture (1)

Building a positive and productive workplace culture, especially within a sales team, is crucial for the long-term success and growth of a business. It fosters performance, maintains good mental health, and staff retention.

“Positive and productive” will mean different things for different businesses and the way to achieve this will require a combination of tactics unique to each situation. A great place to start is to ask your team to rank what matters most for them and then work towards creating a space that works towards positive and productive outcomes for all.