Let’s be honest. The word “culture” has basically become a buzzword and, in many ways, is now diluted. But despite its slightly annoying ubiquity, having a strong SaaS sales culture is nevertheless highly important.
Why? Because it helps attract better reps, reduces turnover, increases synergy, and generally makes your company a better place to work. In turn, this makes your business more competitive, more profitable, and sets the stage for long-term growth.
While numerous factors contribute to an elite SaaS sales culture, here’s what you should focus on above all else.
Use a SaaS Sales Recruiting Platform to Find Top Talent
In my opinion, the first step of building a great culture starts from the top by not just finding next-level talent but finding next-level talent that’s compatible with your company. These days, a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t cut it, and you only want to recruit candidates that check all the right boxes. This means choosing candidates based on obvious factors like knowledge, experience, and selling abilities, as well as more subtle factors like thriving in your unique selling environment and being a great cultural fit.
If you can do this effectively, you should make significantly fewer bad hires and lower turnover, which will naturally strengthen your culture.
A proven way to find top talent is by using a SaaS sales recruiting platform like HireDNA. It takes a scientific, data-driven approach where you first create an ideal candidate profile.
Based on this information, HireDNA sources top talent via a national network of active and passive candidates.
From there, candidates are screened…
…and the best ones are then given a sales skills assessment.
Then it’s just a matter of making your choice while having quantifiable data at your fingertips.
SaaS companies that use HireDNA are able to eliminate 96% of wrong hires and lower turnover by a staggering 50%. You can learn more about HireDNA’s recruiting process here.
Build a Framework That Promotes Collaboration and Communication
One of the quickest ways for a culture to turn toxic is to have reps silo information and “go rogue” where each person works individually instead of as a team. While independence is fine and should be encouraged to some extent, it’s important to create an environment where there’s strong collaboration and communication. And this won’t necessarily happen on its own.
As a leader, you’ll want to intentionally build a framework that facilitates this type of teamwork. A good example would be using Slack to create a centralized digital space where your reps can interact, share information, offer tips, and so on.
Besides that, it eliminates much of the back-and-forthing that comes from using email and is perfect for building rapport.
Encourage Friendly Competition
Another critical component of establishing a winning SaaS sales culture is creating an environment that’s conducive to friendly competition. Notice the key word here is “friendly” — not cutthroat where reps try to steal each other’s leads and outdo each other to the point that it becomes toxic.
Ideally, there will be an atmosphere where your sales team gets along and “has each other’s backs” but also has a healthy competitive spirit where everyone consistently does their best. But how do you achieve that?
Here are some ideas:
- Offer incentives for top performers
- Hold contests
- Encourage reps to keep reaching new personal bests and beat their old records
- Give kudos for achievements
Let Reps Be Themselves
Each salesperson has their own unique strengths and brings something of distinct value to the table. The last thing you want to do as a leader is to suppress that and try to put them into a box. Rather, you want to let each rep tap into their specific skillset and personality so they can fully leverage it and extract their full potential.
This, admittedly, is often easier said than done, and you want to obviously have some type of structure in place rather than letting reps “run wild.” But there are two specific things you can do that will help reps be themselves.
One is to avoid micromanaging and take a step back if you find yourself “hovering.” I think this quote from The Harvard Business Review sums it up perfectly. “Recognize that your way is not the only way, or even necessarily, the best way.” Adopting this mindset should help you avoid this common issue among many leaders.
The other strategy is to give your salespeople more freedom, which can include:
- Letting them work from where they’re the most productive (e.g. home vs. in the office)
- Giving them some wiggle room during sales presentations rather than following a detailed script
- Offer support without telling them what to do
Promote Ongoing Learning
The final piece of the puzzle of building an amazing culture is making learning a habit. Here’s what Forbes has to say about it.
“One characteristic that routinely sets top-performing reps apart is their habit of always staying open to ongoing training, coaching, and development. When we surveyed more than 150 senior sales leaders, top performers earned an average score of 7.5 in this category versus 5.9 for the rest of the reps.”
Whether it’s giving them free access to innovative sales courses and lectures, having them participate in sales programs, or simply sending a team-wide email featuring an interesting YouTube video to help hone their craft, creating this type of atmosphere can do wonders for your culture.
Setting Your Team Up for Success
Given that SaaS sales culture trickles down into virtually every other area of your business, it’s something that demands top priority. While finding success will look a little different for each company, the strategies listed here address the key areas you’ll need to create the perfect environment.
And if you’d like to learn more about HireDNA and see it in action, be sure to schedule your free demo today.