How 3 teams personalized a sales tradition to suit their company culture

by Liz Warren
March 21, 2018

Most sales teams have fun ways of celebrating a closed deal — and lots of times, it includes a gong. We talked to leaders at three local startups to see how their team comes together when someone reaches a goal, and as expected, there were many bells. But at these three startups, there’s more to it than just ringing a gong. Here’s how they added a personal touch to a classic sales tradition.


image via fundera

While there may not be any crashing gong noises when a deal closes on Fundera’s sales team, everyone still hears about it. VP of Sales and Customer Success Tommy McNulty told us how putting their celebrations online has brought the team closer together.

What are some of your team’s unique traditions?

We built a Slack integration called “Gong” that pings the entire team every time a deal funds, congratulating the rep and the marketing source that acquired the customer. It encourages reps to celebrate each others’ wins.

We meet every first of the month for a catered breakfast to highlight major wins, and Fundera issues stock grants every quarter to the two sales reps with the most volume and deals funded. Reps that average over 125 percent of their goals for the quarter are also invited to a team event with our CEO, ranging from a barbecue at his house to bowling!

How is your team different from any other sales teams you’ve been a part of?

Our team has a level of accountability for each other that I haven’t seen before. That accountability comes from the reps themselves, not just from management. Reps and salespeople hold each other accountable for metrics, getting to functions on time and treating customers with respect.

We have an exceptionally sharp group of people who are very analytical, which might be due to the specific knowledge and technical skills needed to fund a loan to a small business. The team also has a general alignment toward Fundera’s goals as a company, and really do empathize with and look out for the business owners we work with.



image via bettercloud

With 60 total employees in its NYC office, Bettercloud is a tight-knit group — and its sales team is even tighter. These days, you can find team members adding key accessories to their outfits before ringing a gong to celebrate a closed deal. Director of Sales John Dowling told us what those accessories symbolize.

What are some of your team’s unique traditions?

We have TV screens, a bell and a gong like most companies do. But more importantly, we try to have a theme for every quarter. In Q4, it was about opening the revenue floodgates, so you had to wear a poncho before hitting the gong. For Q1, it’s about building the foundation for the year, so when a deal comes in you have to hit the gong with a sledgehammer while wearing a hard hat.

How is your team different from any other sales teams you’ve been a part of?

For the size of BetterCloud, we have a relatively small sales team (though it is growing). As a result, we try to operate every day as efficiently and productively as possible. Our team is both collaborative and supportive. It’s not uncommon for our morning stand-up to go 10 minutes over as the team talks strategically through an opportunity. Everyone rows in the same direction every day and takes ownership of their targets.
image via

Adtech company embraces Nordic culture, in which there’s a flat hierarchy and open communication. Every member of the Smartly team is essentially a salesperson, in one way or another. Talent Lead Linda Le explained more about what sets their team apart from other companies.

What are some of your team’s unique traditions?

Our team here in the NYC office holds monthly events. This month was bowling, and next month might be rock climbing. We celebrate wins in many ways: globally, we send notifications through our company Flowdock for sales wins, we have a cowbell at our NYC office and during Friday Demos, we include positive feedback from our support chats, customer testimonials. We also have a ‘Thank you box,” which is an online submission for all team members to send thank you notes to one another.

How is your team different from any other sales teams you’ve been a part of?

At Smartly, we actively practice being humble, hungry hunters! The combination of these traits sets us apart from other organizations because no matter how hungry and eager we are to close a sale, we’ll always maintain our humbleness with our customers. This also applies internally where it’s always a team effort to close a customer, so being humble to all 'Smartlies' is not only important but also necessary for the success of our company.


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