Building Sales DNA

Building Sales DNA

You cannot change your personal DNA. However, you can change the DNA of your company. Great companies build sales DNA into their culture by continually benchmarking themselves against the industry’s best firms. They focus on moving from where they are to where they need to be. This includes helping sellers break-down old patterns of behavior – replacing existing practices with best practices. In the end, market opportunities are only as profitable as the capability of the sales force to capitalize on them. Three key areas for building sales DNA include:

1 – Attracting, developing and retaining top people (A players). Increasing capability means continually improving the performance of the existing sales team through consistent coaching and development. It also means regularly upgrading the quality of sales talent on the team through effective performance management (e.g., removing the bottom 10% every year). Creating and managing to an A player profile during the hiring process is also critical. Average people produce average results and great people (A players) produce great results.

2 – Creating a culture of continuous improvement. Sales organizations are focused on short-term results. Short-term focus creates barriers to change; e.g., “To hit my quota, I am going to do things my way.” The problem is that “my way” often limits sales success. Consequently, leaders must replace limiting behaviors with best practices through coaching, development and training. Reinforcement is also critical to create lasting change. Long-term, aspirational performance targets also keep development discussions focused on building capability versus short-term results.

3 – Empowering leaders to positively influence change and reinforce transformation. First- and second-line managers play a critical role in driving continuous improvement and raising the bar. Because first- and second-line managers interact with sellers on a daily basis, they are in the best position to coach and reinforce positive behavior and intervene where improvement is needed. Sales leaders must also receive coaching and development to ensure that they have the skills and tools they need to manage the organization at the highest level.

Every company has a unique sales DNA. Unlike the genetic code in human beings, an organization’s sales DNA can be re-coded to increase its effectiveness and efficiency. Building capability to be able to perform at or better than the industry’s best is key. In addition to continuous improvement, employee empowerment and talent/performance management above, building sales DNA involves: sales strategy, sales methodology and connected sales and marketing. The more these areas can be optimized, the greater an organization’s results will be.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


One Response to Building Sales DNA

  1. Salomon Kilpatrick says:

    Good read.


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