• May 23, 2024

Harness Sales Culture to Drive Sales Performance, Gartner Says at Its CSO & Sales Leader Conference

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Harnessing company sales culture can lead to improved sales performance, Gartner sales experts stressed at the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference in Las Vegas this week.

"Culture is often an afterthought for sales leaders, it's something that just exists but is off track or isn't actively managed," said Shayne Jackson, senior director analyst in theGartner Sales Practice. "As a result, teams are often disconnected, leading to higher turnover and lower performance.

"When leaders actively channel sales culture, it can be an incredibly powerful tool," Jackson continued. "To leverage culture as a driver of performance and retention, sales leaders must understand the culture that exists today, evaluate if it is meeting seller needs, confirm it aligns with leadership's values, and then make adjustments to drive specific types of growth."

Gartner identified the following six cultural attributes that motivate sales performance:

  • Investing in sales employees' career development and growth opportunities. Organizations that invest in career development are 2.6 times more likely to improve commercial performance, Gartner found.
  • Encouraging sellers to use innovative approaches to their work. Organizations that foster innovation are 2.5 times more likely to see digital commerce growth, according to the research.
  • Fostering internal competition among the sales team to meet their goals. When promoting competition, organizations are 2.6 times more likely to see faster sales cycles, Gartner found.
  • Being transparent and presenting sellers with meaningful insights into sales organization operations.
  • Empowering sellers to solve creatively for customer needs and rewarding them for finding ways to improve sales processes.
  • Providing employees with psychological safety in an environment of trust.

Additionally, Gartner found that attributes such as transparency link to 2.9 times greater likelihood of increased profit growth. Similarly, by prioritizing seller empowerment as a key pillar of sales culture, organizations are 2.8 times more likely to see improved commercial performance. In addition, cultures that focus on psychological safety, where sellers are permitted to fail safely, are 2.7 times more likely to see improved customer acquisition.

"CSOs must take control of their sales culture by assessing the culture as it stands, designing the necessary culture adjustment and then transforming the culture to boost performance and achieve their organizations' goals. To implement changes, enlisting support of front-line managers is key, as well as making changes to systems and processes that conflict or obstruct the new culture improvements," Jackson said.

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