The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture

What is The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture?

Employees have to feel comfortable and secure at work, but the pressure of making profits and selling particular numbers each day can result in a toxic sales culture. As the leader or manager, you have influence and power, which means you could be the one creating that toxic environment. Your goal is to motivate your employees, but a tough-love attitude can quickly cross over to abusive. While some people believe that being unforgiving and tough is the best way to manage everyone, the truth is that each person on your team must be managed differently.

 

What enforces the rules with one person may not work with another. You can scream and yell with some people, and that’s the only way to get the point across, but with most people, politeness and compassion work much better. Read on to learn about the characteristics of a toxic sales culture and the affects it can have on an organization.

Poor Sales Leadership

There are many examples of what poor sales leadership looks like. Organizations that lack a structured sales coaching model can lead to unorganized, uninformed, and anxious sales teams that are in constant pressure to meet sales quotas. This often leads to an unhealthy competitive atmosphere.  Toxic sales cultures often start from the top of the chain where sales managers take advantage of their sales teams and treat them as a means to an end instead of providing inspiration and sales coaching.

Related Reading: How Successful Salespeople Grow

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Abusing Power

Power is essential because the employees must know who is in charge. However, it’s very easy to lord your power over the employees; power is intoxicating. You might believe you’re pushing others to do better but be careful with how you make use of the power you have. Abusing power can lead to employees feeling as if you are undercutting them. Learn to build your sales team by investing in your professional development as a sales leader.

Leading by example is a more effective way to gain the trust of your sales professionals instead of relying on fear to motivate them.

Related Article: Sales Leadership 3.0

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Displaced Aggression

Many times, sales managers are under a lot of stressful situations. Sometimes sales managers will project or displace their stress on their sales professionals in an unhealthy manner. Irrationally displaced aggression if left uncheck, can alienate other employees and decimate a sales professional’s workplace experience.

When you allow your aggression and power to control the situation, employees feel undermined. Instead of being goaded into doing better, they tend to become even more lackluster. They might not care about the consequences because they’re already tired of the job and may be looking for work elsewhere. If they’re average or above-average employees, you’re on the brink of losing someone worthwhile because you took advantage and didn’t realize how toxic your behavior was until it was too late. Also, many managers never realize that their behavior was inappropriate.

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Losing Worthwhile Employees

When you allow your aggression and power to control the situation, employees feel undermined. Instead of being goaded into doing better, they tend to become even more lackluster. They might not care about the consequences because they’re already tired of the job and may be looking for work elsewhere. If they’re average or above-average employees, you’re on the brink of losing someone worthwhile because you took advantage and didn’t realize how toxic your behavior was until it was too late. Also, many managers never realize that their behavior was inappropriate.

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Feedback is Not Encouraged

Organizations that lack or discourage feedback can be a sign of a toxic sales culture. Pay attention to how employees and their sales managers handle criticism. Does your sales leadership make an effort to make reasonable changes to the organization based on feedback from employees? Sales leaders should encourage conversations to improve the work culture. Communication on all levels is key to strengthening the workplace of your organization.

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A Toxic Workplace Environment Will Stifle Sales Performance

A healthy workplace environment can either inspire your sales professionals to fulfill their true potential or stifle performance that will leave your organization in a hurricane of excuses, finger-pointing, and skepticism. The true cost of a toxic sales culture goes beyond crippled motivation and lackluster sales performance. A hostile work climate that neglects its employees in an unhealthy manner is detrimental to the overall longevity of your business.

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4 Successful Sales Strategies for the Fourth-Quarter Revenue Push

Stay Focused During The Fourth-Quarter Revenue Push

The fourth-quarter revenue push is always a worrisome thing for CEOs and owners of companies. You’ve only got a few more months to earn as much money as you can, which is why your salespeople have to be on their game. Of course, most people know that the fourth-quarter might not be the best time to hire recruits, so it’s a good idea to keep your team happy, motivated and focused during this busy period. Here are 4 sales strategies to help your sales teams push through the fourth-quarter revenue rush!

Motivation is Key

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Your team has been working tirelessly for the whole year, and they may want to take a bit of time to slack, especially in the fourth quarter. While it’s a natural inclination, it’s your job or that of your manager to ensure that your sales reps stay motivated. Ensure that your sales leaders are effectively communicating with your sales teams. Inquire into any personal or professionals’ issues that might affect their sales performance and provide support if needed.

 

Related Reading: Different Types of Motivation To Keep Yourself and Your Team Ambitious & Successful

 

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Utilize a Variety of Incentives to Motivate

You can choose many motivational tools to help, such as monetary bonuses, special trips, extra days for vacation, and more. These little pushes can ensure that your salespeople stay focused on the big picture and get you through the rush so that you earn more and make your end-of-year goals.

Related Reading: How to Create a Motivational Environment for Sales Success


Focus on Driving Revenue

You should also be talking to your teams and representatives to determine the best ways to ensure that they close existing deals. Do they need more targeted outbound calls? Do they need to create goals to get them through the next 30 to 90 days? Learning what skills are necessary and what details need to be focused on can ensure that they improve during that time.

Related Video: What is Professional Selling?


Plan Your Sales Strategies

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Regardless of the goal, your strategy includes two parts. You need to determine how you can affect the goal positively this minute and what steps you can take to accomplish the next step in the next week or so. If you continuously do this every week until the end of the year, you’re likely to see improvements, which can then be implemented for next year, as well.

The fourth-quarter is one of the biggest sales quarters of the year. Sales teams must formulate strategies to ensure all sales operations are running smoothly and without hiccups. The fourth-quarter revenue push involves finding ways to beat burnout and motivating sales teams while scoring results.

 

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Sales Leadership 3.0

Leaders in the sales industry are not born with some special genetic makeup or a particular set of skills. Rather, leaders in sales are the same as leaders in any other industry and have developed their skills in this specific area of professional growth.

Leadership means having more than just an idea of what is necessary. It involves being able to create a specific target and then motivate the sales team to achieve that target. To achieve this goal, the sales manager has to have a drive for success, have an ability to prioritize and also have the self-discipline to manage their goals effectively.

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The Communication Factor

Just having these attributes isn’t all that is required. The additional factor that turns great salespeople into top sales leader is the ability to communicate that vision in terms that are inspirational, motivational and crystal clear to the team.

Everyone has worked with a top sales professional that made a terrible manager. Not only were they unable to communicate their goals and their action plans, but they may have lacked the ability to connect on a relationship level with their team. Connecting well with your team and clients will create more open doors for you in the long run. Communication and relationship building are two of the next-level sales leadership skills developed by top leaders.

Intuition Balanced with Process

process-graphicAnyone who is effective at sales is effective in the sales process. This may not be identical to the steps used in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system used by the company, but it is consistent and within company policy. A top sales leader is able to work with the sales process in a way that is consistent, predictable and proven to boost sales.

With this in mind, a top sales leader is also intuitive in understanding where sales team members are struggling and how to provide support. Implementing mentorship and coaching programs and providing support to each team member on an individual and group basis is another task that great sales leaders get done.

 

Related Article: Top Qualities of Top Sales Earners

 

The Sales Coaching Institute provides group training and one-on-one coaching for those involved in sales leadership roles. To find out more, visit the website – SalesCoach.us.