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8 Simple Rules for Boosting Sales Culture

· Jared Houghton · 5 Minute Read

You're a busy sales leader. Under you: a millennial sales force. Ahead of you: a lofty revenue target. Around you: the sales culture that decides whether the former hits the latter.

The Eightfold Path to Zen Sales Culture

Congratulations, you're among the countless number of modern sales leaders struggling with the same set of problems. The good news: a proven framework for solving all 3 of these issues - in one fell swoop - actually exists. Follow Ambition as we lead you through this 8 step guide to enabling sales coaching at scale across your sales organization.

Step #1. Unify Key Sales Data

Imagine you're a college football coach who's scouting 12 high-profile recruits. Which is going to make your life easier - reviewing 3-5 different data sources to find the pivotal data points for each prospect?  Or reviewing a single source of truth housing all the pivotal data points for all your recruits?

inside sales data

If you're reviewing data from your CRM plus other data systems, figure out a way to integrate your key metrics from each system into a single source of truth. To make your life even easier, look for something that gives you the ability to track metrics across all your data sources and visualize them on TVs, Dashboards, Graphs, and Quadrants in real-time. 

The goal: total visibility over rep activity and goal acquistion that's available on command, easy to customize, and stylized to deliver maximum coaching insights at a glance. 

Step #2. Codify Daily Sales KPIs

First, commit to using S.M.A.R.T. goals (a must-do). Next, consider the following 3 statistics. Employees are:

  1. 42% more likely to achieve goals by writing them down.
  2. 78% more likely to hit goals when sharing weekly progress with peers.
  3. 50% more likely to be Top 25% when they review goals each month.

Pick your top 3 key sales activities your team should perform each day. Outbound dials, prospect touches, emails sent, and so forth. Feel free to segment these activities by role, location, or tenure.

inside sales activity kpis

Once you've chosen 3 metrics, set a daily benchmark for each activity. Each benchmark should serve as a minimum daily baseline your reps should hit in terms of activity volume.

Step #3. Codify Monthly Sales KPIs

Same principles apply. Monthly objectives should be mission critical, aspirational goals. If a rep is directly responsible for revenue, one of the goals should be revenue. (Ex. 1/3 of quota for reps on a quarter-long calendar). All non-revenue goals should be directly tied to revenue (Ex. meetings set, deals closed, average sales cycle length).

inside sales coaching metrics

Note: If you want a full scientific breakdown of how goal setting motivates employees, check out Ambition's interview with Neuroscientist  Doug Taylor.

Step #4. Codify Efficiency KPIs

Combine activity and objective metrics (as explained in this blog post) to create Efficiency (or Productivity) KPIs. The rationale for utilizing so-called 'Moneyball Metrics' is threefold:

  1. Reward focused, successful behavior - not just activity. 
  2. Engage entire sales team - not just hustlers and high achievers.
  3. Give better performance insights - memorable, meaningful, nuanced. 

moneyball inside sales metrics

Our biggest sales metrics at Ambition: opportunity conversion rate, sales cycle length, and average ACV. We place a huge premium on efficiency metrics - as should you.

Step #5. Track Progress to Goals

The number one motivator of employee performance is sense of progress - even more than pay and recognition.  Bear in mind the following law of human motivation:

Goals >> Visualization of Progress >> Dopamine increases in Brain >> Motivation

inside sales goal tracking

The key to this chain is progress visualization. That’s the external stimuli that impacts the neurotransmitters in your brain responsible for releasing dopamine and enhancing motivation. Use Ambition or a similar platform to display real-time progress to goals and provide compelling visual cues that recognize progress and success. 

Step #6. Focus 1:1's on Sales KPIs

With this structure, tracking and organization over your KPIs in place, you suddenly have all the on-demand intelligence you could ever need to transform your 1:1's into constructive, timely, efficient coaching sessions. 

inside sales team report

Just as every Gruden QB Camp starts with reviewing game film, your sales rep 1:1's can all start the same way - by reviewing you 5-6 most pivotal KPIs and having a dialogue around what's going right or wrong - based on the data. A great way to avoid coaching catastrophes in your sales organization.

Step #7. Publicly Praise Wins

High-performing teams share 6 times more positive feedback than average-to-low performing teams. 28% of small wins trigger powerful emotional responses in employees. It pays to publicize positive recognition.

inside sales team coaching and recognition

If you're looking for a simple way to organizally work positive recognition into your day-to-day, sales compeitions and SPIFs are the perfect way to systematize recognition, incentives and positive feedback loops on your sales floor. 

Step #8. Set Up Sales KPI Alerts

Even the most hands-on sales managers can't spend their entire day on the sales floor alongside their teams. Many inside sales leaders are responsible for overseeing teams with multiple locations, a variety of roles, and unique quota targets.

inside sales team KPIs

The good news: that's less of a problem for today's sales coach than ever before. Solutions like Gong.io, LearnCore, ExecVision, and Ambition enbale sales leaders to review call recordings, prospect demos, and activity and productivity trends over any time interval in a matter of clicks. In other words, the stuff of Billy Beane's dreams. 

More Sales Team Resources

If you're looking for a software solution that automates and empowers all 10 steps in the above guide, check out Ambition.

For more sales coaching resources, check out the following resources - free to download on the Ambition Academy.

  1. The Agile Sales Management Guide
  2. The Winner's Guide to Running Effective Sales Contests
  3. The Sales Performance Index

Best of luck to your sales organization moving forward - from our team to yours. Let's make 2017 the year your inside sales organization makes coaching its unfair competitive advantage. 

About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.
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