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IN THE EARLY DAYS of a small business, the founders typically have to become rainmakers. However, as their businesses grow, owners often struggle with how to impart their passion for sales to others, so that the whole team can work together to sustain growth. If you want to create a scalable business model that doesn’t depend on one or two people to bring in new business, you will have to create a company-wide sales culture first, where every member of the team takes part in sales in some way, and where the role of sales isn’t negatively perceived. After all, if no sales are closing, there’s no business to go around. The most straightforward way to create a sales culture is to ensure that employees have a stake in company performance. Profit-sharing programs or bonuses that are tied to company performance can be the most important centerpiece in any sales culture. Communicate your sales goals to employees. Let them understand how they can each contribute to those goals. Show them what they can earn when they reach those goals. Find a role for everyone. Not everyone has the chops for cold calling, but there are sales process roles suited to everyone within your company — from researching a prospect to preparing for the sales team’s first meeting. Maybe one of your employees would be great at finding highly personalized birthday gifts to give to your top customers and prospects. Even handwriting thank-you notes to customers celebrating anniversaries with your firm can be an important assignment. Truly empower your employees to take care of your customers. Show them how much more expensive it is to attract a new customer than it is to maintain an existing one. Teach your employees how to cross-sell, upsell and generate referrals from existing customers. Proper training will make sure your team experiences “wins” along the way, which are critical to maintaining team enthusiasm around supporting the sales process and reaching targets. Role-play selling scenarios. Even though this can be intimidating at first, it can also be one of the most effective tools in helping your team prepare for realworld opportunities. Lead by example. Culture change begins at the top. Walk the walk. Make sales calls. Shadow your team on sales calls. Incorporate the topic of sales into your regular staff meetings. Publicly recognize top sales performers — both those in out-front, full-time sales roles as well as those in behind-the-scenes sales support roles. Hold your entire team accountable for sales activity, not just revenue. While we may not be able to fully control when someone signs a contract or writes a check, what we can control is the number of people we approach and therefore get in front of each week. Regularly coach your team for improved performance. Consistency is key. If you want to see your business sustain growth even when you’re not in a primary business development role, invest time in creating a company-wide sales culture.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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