Through thick and thin: How 6 Colorado sales teams keep morale high

by April Bohnert
March 22, 2018

A career in sales is not for the faint of heart. The ebbs and flows that mark the sales cycle can be both exhilarating and exhausting, and require not only a person but a team that can roll with the punches.

We talked to members of six Colorado sales teams to learn how they keep morale high — through thick and thin.

 

Thanx sales team culture Colorado
Photo courtesy of Thanx. 

Thanx’s SaaS platform helps businesses leverage data and automate marketing campaigns to develop deeper relationships with their most loyal customers. VP of Sales Dave Collier shared his insight.

 

How does your sales team keep spirits high when teammates start to feel down?

During the days, our team loves to recharge over a quick game of Ping-Pong or shuffleboard. We try to break up the days with several stand-ups to give our reps a chance to regroup and share ideas and motives for the next call block. At the end of the day, our team loves the product they sell and the markets they serve. And if all else fails, a cold IPA on our rooftop patio overlooking the Rocky Mountains and the Pepsi Center is a great way to unwind after a long day.

At the end of the day, our team loves the product they sell and the markets they serve.”

What are some of the most common challenges your sales team faces, and how do you help them overcome them?

We spend a lot of time role playing to sharpen our skills. We use technology like Atrium to help us understand a lot of hidden trends in the business and show us where we have momentum and where we lack the right velocity. Having insight into these metrics allow us to understand where we have immediate coaching opportunities.

 

When the sales team hits its goals, how does your team celebrate?

Our sales development team has a ritual similar to the “turn over chain” that the University of Miami football team made famous this past fall. We have the SQL chain with a large Thanx medallion that is worn by the SDR who created the latest SQL. Second, there is no better sound at Thanx than hearing the sales gong being rung. Everyone gets an instant lift when a deal is brought over the line.

We try to highlight a mix of both long-term and short-term rewards for the sales team. At the end of this quarter, we will be taking our top three AEs and SDRs up to the “beach” at Arapahoe Basin for a day of skiing, food and a few cold beers. We also hold a weekly sales happy hour, where we recognize strong performances from the week.

 

RingCentral sales team culture Colorado
Photo courtesy of RingCentral.

RingCentral delivers cloud communication and collaboration tools that empower mobile and distributed workforces to connect anywhere and on any device. Andrew Robeson, director of business development, responded to questions about his sales team.

 

How does your sales team keep spirits high when teammates start to feel down?

The teams consistently focus on driving collaboration and success at both the individual level and as a team. Winning is sweeter when done together. On the days where things aren’t perfect, the air is filled with ‘90s pop, ‘80s one-hit wonders and the latest hits. Ping-Pong, Nerf gun wars and happy hours always elevate the mood and break the cycle of feeling down.

As we know, teams who play together stay together.”

What are some of the most common challenges your sales team faces, and how do you help them overcome them?

The most common challenges are what most organizations encounter: fear of change, concern over the amount of work to transition from one tech provider to another, current contracts, competing priorities. While we can’t give away the recipe for the ‘secret sauce of objection handling,’ we can state with certainty that RingCentral invests heavily in the success of the business development and sales organizations, leveraging top-tier experts in respective fields to share their tips for success.

 

When the sales team hits its goals, how does your team celebrate?

As we know, teams who play together stay together. To celebrate wins, we hit the gong and enjoy outings like happy hours, Topgolf, bowling and ski trips. The individual top winners become eligible for the “Ring of Excellence” — our top-performer club that we send on an annual trip to an exotic destination.

 

Zoom Video Communication sales team culture Colorado
Photo courtesy of Zoom. 

Zoom delivers turnkey video and web conferencing services for enterprise businesses, enabling them to more easily connect with teammates and clients across mobile, desktop and conference room devices. Mid-market sales manager Alyson Baber shed some light on how her team works together.

 

How does your sales team keep spirits high when teammates start to feel down?

At Zoom, "we care for each other" is one of our company mottos, which is refreshing when sales are more ebb than flow. We celebrate small wins — for example, meetings booked from a cold outreach or deals, regardless of size.

At Zoom, ‘we care for each other’ is one of our company mottos, which is refreshing when sales are more ebb than flow.”

What are some of the most common challenges your sales team faces, and how do you help them overcome them?

I have weekly one-on-one meetings with each of my team members, and prioritize this time to ensure my team has an outlet to share the challenges they are facing so we can get in front of them together. In addition, our sense of urgency is often not the same as our customers’, so delivering happiness and working to solve their needs — versus selling only for our personal gain — is important for alignment. When we lead from a standpoint of helping our customers rather than meeting our sales objectives, it proves to deliver the best results.

 

When the sales team hits its goals, how does your team celebrate?

At Zoom we love to celebrate, and we do that in a variety of ways. Salespeople are naturally motivated by money, but we also celebrate in non-financial ways. Whether it’s a congratulatory affirmation in the “Deals and Congrats” chat group or a shout out for a tough outbound or cold meeting set, we love to reward the behaviors that make our team successful.


 

Marketo sales team culture Colorado
Photo courtesy of Marketo.

Marketo’s engagement platform helps marketers automate day-to-day tasks and build deeper relationships with their customers by better understanding what they want. Terrance Riley, director of commercial sales, discussed the culture that drives his team.

 

How does your sales team keep spirits high when teammates start to feel down?

First, it’s important to maintain a consistent, positive team culture and work environment so that, when sales are lean, the team is still excited about being in the office and working toward their goal.

Celebrating small, incremental wins pays off, as those small wins eventually add up to the end goal.”

We also celebrate the little “w’s.” Celebrating small, incremental wins pays off, as those small wins eventually add up to the end goal. Months are long and typically we can get 70 percent or more of our revenue in the last week of the month. If we don’t celebrate the small wins, the early part of the month can be a bit of a drag on the team morale.

 

What are some of the most common objections your sales team faces, and how do you help them overcome them?

Pricing is always a common objection in my business. We are a best-of-breed solution and are priced as such. Equipping the team to clearly demonstrate ROI is critical when you are the higher-cost solution. Another challenge is being able to articulate to our prospects that when you buy cheap you typically buy twice, which in this business can be even more expensive — not to mention, painful.

 

When the sales team hits its goals, how does your team celebrate?

We celebrate quota achievement via monthly outings. These outing typically include a fun activity or dinner.

 

AdAction sales team culture Colorado
Photo courtesy of AdAction Interactive.

AdAction is a mobile adtech company that helps businesses enhance user acquisition and increase brand recognition through iOS and Android marketing campaigns. VP of business development Andy Norwood shared how his team focuses on both personal and collective goals.

 

How does your sales team keep spirits high when teammates start to feel down?

We’re more than just teammates; we are all friends and want to see each other succeed. We’ve created healthy competition within the sales team, where we not only try to individually bring in more revenue than the others but we also work together to share in overall team wins. We collaborate on best practices and work cohesively as one unit to support each other in both ups and downs, consistently working toward our individual and team goals.

We’re more than just teammates; we are all friends and want to see each other succeed.”

What are some of the most common challenges your sales team faces, and how do you help them overcome them?

We’re in a fast-paced industry with a lot of competition, so we have to ask ourselves “how do we stand out from the pack” and “what are our key differentiators?” It is our responsibility to help identify those key differentiators and maintain consistent familiarity with the company’s latest developments and proprietary technology. By encouraging our sales team to collaborate amongst each other and with other departments, we’re enabling them to provide more detailed knowledge and strategic marketing tactics with new and prospective clients for bigger wins.

 

When the sales team hits its goals, how does your team celebrate?

We have a gong in the office and encourage our team to ring it for every big win. We also enjoy getting out of the office together and sharing in a more social setting over lunch or happy hours. We believe in celebrating our wins, but we’re also highly motivated to maintain a consistent and healthy opportunity pipeline, month-over-month.

 

Envysion sales team culture Colorado
Photo courtesy of Envysion.

Envysion’s surveillance software and video-based analytics enable businesses to gain better insights into their operations and improve customer service and employee training. Stephanie Matchus, director of mid-market sales, explained how they keep morale high — even with a largely remote team.

 

How does your sales team keep spirits high when teammates start to feel down?

Our sales team is mostly remote. This can be challenging when trying to lift spirits, but we try to keep it up by sending shout-outs for a job well done via chat or email when we can't get everyone on a call. It’s fun, encouraging and motivating to hear your teammates succeeding when you’re having a rough day. We also try to bring the whole team to Denver at least once a quarter to develop camaraderie.

Our sales team is mostly remote, but we try to keep [spirits] up by sending shout-outs for a job well done via chat or email." 

What are some of the most common challenges/objections your sales team faces, and how do you help them overcome them?

The ever-changing market is always a challenge. Staying pertinent in the client’s mind as they are faced with so many daily decisions keeps us on our toes.

 

When the sales team hits its goals, how does your team celebrate?

We have a very large bell in the office that we ring when we have a big win. The sales rep who closed a big deal or hit a major goal selects someone on another team who was essential to getting the deal done to ring the bell. Not only does this celebrate the win, but it shows we need a team to get it done. Also, when the team comes in for quarterly visits we will plan an outing to celebrate successes.

 

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