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Need top sales talent? Create a compelling company culture

Creating a company culture that top sales talent loves is crucial for startups. It can be a challenge to recruit the best salespeople, especially when demand for sales talent is high.  However, by establishing a company culture built on a clear mission, vision, and employer brand, your startup can attract the best sales professionals in any industry.

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What is Company Culture

Company culture embodies the way founders and employees in a startup interact with each other as they work together to fulfill their purpose. It includes shared values, beliefs, and behaviors. It is established by founders, shaped by employees and is ideally based on the impact they want the company to have. 

Key components of startup culture include:

  • Mission and Vision: Describes why the company exists and should guide a startup’s actions.
  • Values: Values are what the company deems as important. They should guide how employees interact and make decisions. 
  • Behaviors: These include interactions, traditions, and routines  
  • Communication: Communication includes how the company communicates internally with each other and externally with customers, prospects, partners, and potential candidates for employment.

To attract and retain top sales talent, startups must ensure that all key components of their company culture are strong and compelling. These elements must also strongly resonate with the type of sales talent you’re seeking.  If they resonate with potential sales candidates, it will be easier to get them interested in working for you. Our new guide, Hiring for Startups: The Ultimate Guide to Scale Quickly, explores the link between successful hiring and company culture. 

How Startups Can Build a Strong Company Culture

There are several things startups can do to build a strong company culture. They can start with their purpose. Why did the founders start the company in the first place? Starting here will lead to creating a compelling mission, vision, and values. These are the heart of startup culture. 

Other things you can do to build a strong startup culture include hiring salespeople inspired by the mission, vision, and values of the company. Building a strong employer brand and solidifying the company culture through behaviors and activities is also key. Below is a list of ways startups can create a strong company culture to attract top sales talent. We explore these and other ideas in our new guide, Hiring for Startups: The Ultimate Guide to Scale Quickly.

1) Create a clear and compelling mission, vision, and values

The number one thing startups should do to create a compelling company culture that attracts top sales talent is to create a compelling mission, vision, and set of values. The mission should state the company’s “why” and reason for existence. The vision should state how founders see the company’s place in its industry and the direction it’s headed. And the values should state what’s really important to the company. 

Once the mission, vision, and values are set, you should put these elements of your startup culture in writing everywhere all employees can see them-virtually and in real life. You should also make a point to hire sales leaders driven by the mission, vision, and values and use them in their leadership style. Additionally, founders and leaders should create a set of behaviors that reflect the mission, vision, and values and get the startup closer to reaching its purpose. 

2) Develop activities and behaviors that reflect company culture 

Creating activities and behaviors that reflect company culture brings the culture to life. This is when the mission, vision, and values become more than just words on your website on a wall in your office space. For instance, an activity for startups that value sales productivity could include regular team call blitzes to reach more prospects. Also, for remote startups whose motto is “work hard, play hard”, activities could include weekly virtual team building activities. 

3) Hire salespeople who share company values

It’s easier to attract and retain salespeople whose values align with the values of your startup. Selling is a tough job. And when salespeople can draw purpose and inspiration from company values they will be more eager to work for you. Also, when there is camaraderie and shared values on the sales team and throughout the company, salespeople are more loyal. Doing the work to identify and recruit sales talent with shared values has huge payoffs.

4) Build a powerful company and employer brand

A powerful company and employer brand go a long way in attracting and retaining top sales talent. A recognizable brand makes the salesperson’s job easier. It’s easier selling products and services when people in your industry know who you are. Even if you are not well known yet, having a good reputation with people your startup interacts with goes a long way. And when your existing team loves your organization, it’s easier to attract top sales professionals. 

5) Create a strong value proposition

A strong value proposition not only makes it easier to sell your products, it also strengthens your company culture. It does this by clarifying the value your products and services bring to customers. It gives a sense of pride to your entire company and makes it easier for your sales team to communicate with customers. This is attractive to new sales talent because they know the value your products bring to customers. 

The Wrap Up

Building a company culture that attracts top sales talent is critical for startups. It might be difficult to hire the best salespeople, especially when labor demand for salespeople is high. However, you can attract the best sales professionals with a strong startup culture and plan to identify the right talent. For more ideas on startup hiring and culture, check out our article, How to Hire for a Fast-Growing Company or Startup.

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