In the early 20’s Thomas J. Watson Sr., the CEO of IBM, created a sales culture within IBM – he did this by:
· Stressing professionalism in sales.
· Hiring only the top-performing graduates from the top universities.
· Six weeks of intensive training in selling and servicing IBM equipment.
· Rewarding his top performers with bonuses and celebrations (Hundred Percent Club).
The result of these efforts at IBM has produced a sales culture of highly trained and motivated professionals who helped the company pull ahead of its competitors.
I deal with small and medium size companies and they do not have the resources to hire top university graduates or train a person for six weeks prior to sending them out to the field to sell. This does not mean that these companies cannot create a top performing sales culture.
Prior to the introduction of a CRM it was difficult to measure a sales person other than the final outcome of sales at the end of the month. The goal was to have all the sales people emulate the top performer, but the question was what was the top performer doing and how do we ensure the rest of the sales team uses the same tactics.
Below is a table that outlines the key components of an effective sales culture (customer knowledge, time management, solution selling, relationship building) and how you can use a CRM to manage the development of a sales culture.