Sales culture, Part 1: How 5 NYC sales teams stay motivated

by Liz Warren
April 17, 2019

Ask a salesperson what motivates them, and you’re sure to hear about gongs and commission. But for NYC tech sales teams, it’s about so much more — think: strong company values, team camaraderie and other intangible factors that are crucial to success.

In part one of a two-part series, read on to learn how some of NYC’s brightest salespeople stay hungry and engaged at high-growth tech companies.

 

bluecore
image via bluecore

The sales development team at retail marketing platform Bluecore values camaraderie — so much so that they lovingly call one another “the hounds” and refer to their pods as “the pound.” Director of Sales Development Glen Kaczer explained how the team has gotten so close.

 

What have been some of your most successful tactics in motivating your team? Why do you think these worked the best?

One of my most successful tactics in motivating my team is having a huge team dinner after we hit over 100 percent of our monthly goals. It's a win-win because not only are we hitting our stretch goal, but everyone on the team gets to celebrate progressing in their career. At dinner, we can all unwind, have amazing food and drinks and celebrate a successful month. It pushes us to keep up our consistency as a team.

 

What sets the members of your team apart from other teams you've worked with in the past?

Our camaraderie is unique, and staying true to our team identity is huge. We call ourselves “the hounds” because we’re all hungry and persistent every day. Having a strong team culture and believing in it allows us to build our winning brand so that when other colleagues walk by “the pound,” they know what we are about.

 

fundera
image via fundera

Feeling invested in your company is a major source of motivation — especially for the sales team at fintech startup Fundera. Director of Sales Alexandra Timbas walked us through the ways she’s been able to help employees feel like they have a stake in the business.

 

What have been some of your most successful tactics in motivating your team? Why do you think these worked the best?

One of the tactics I've found to be most successful when motivating my team is setting clear expectations. A successful sales manager is upfront with what is expected of salespeople while making it clear that they're on each salesperson's side.

I also like to learn my team’s short- and long-term aspirations so I can better help them achieve their goals and gain their trust — it helps them see that I’m invested in their success. Acting as a mentor and partner to salespeople keeps them motivated and pays long-term dividends for the team.

 

What sets the members of your team apart from other teams you've worked with in the past?

It's clear that the Fundera sales team is motivated and has bought into the mission of the company to help small business owners succeed financially. On some past teams, I've found salespeople that aren't bought in and as a result, show up late and don't put in the required work. At Fundera, I know my direct reports will be in the office on time, doing tasks that need to be done because they feel invested in the company.

Fundera also has great values that aren't just ignored platitudes painted on the wall. The leadership team lives out these values and, as a result, so do employees. For example, one of our values is to “be an open book,” and the leadership team is constantly answering any and all questions from employees who are willing to push back when needed. This practice makes us stronger together.

 

aircall
image via aircall

Aircall, a phone system for modern businesses, prides itself on creating a positive environment that pushes people to be their best. VP of Sales Collin Cadmus described what he’s done to foster excellence.

 

What have been some of your most successful tactics in motivating your team? Why do you think these worked the best?

One of my greatest mentors taught me that, as a leader, I actually can't motivate people — I can only create an environment where motivated people can succeed. Motivation isn’t something that can be forced or manipulated by someone else. The key here is to hire motivated people and then create a work environment, sales process and compensation structure that enables them for success. That being said, we recently held a pod wars competition in which the winners received a championship cup reminiscent of those you’d receive in youth soccer.

 

What sets the members of your team apart from other teams you've worked with in the past?

Every sales team lives to see their numbers go up, but Aircall is special because we genuinely celebrate team and individual successes. Plus, we’re very vocal about it. Case in point: it’s a tradition in our office to stop everything and break out in deafening applause when a new SDR qualifies their first opportunity (sincere apologies if this startles other departments!). We all want the team to succeed, but it’s even sweeter knowing that everyone contributed to a positive outcome.

 

talkwalker
image via talkwalker

The salespeople at listening and analytics company Talkwalker are so successful because they take the time to educate themselves on the industry and platform. Head of Sales Ben Riggle explained how the team’s knowledge drives them forward.

 

What have been some of your most successful tactics in motivating your team? Why do you think these worked the best?  

I'm fortunate because our team comes to work passionate about Talkwalker every day. We work together in one-on-ones, teamwide meetings and cross-functional gatherings to go over successes and failures. We've been able to surpass expectations globally by encouraging individuals to collaborate across departments to help brands optimize the impact of their communication and marketing strategies.

 

What sets the members of your team apart from other teams you've worked with in the past?

This team has worked hard to gain in-depth knowledge of our industry and our platform. They have a contagious willingness to learn that is unmatched. We have several people on the team that have stretched themselves and expanded their capabilities to take their careers to the next level.  

 

meero
image via meero

The sales team at AI company Meero is naturally energetic and engaged — two characteristics that Jack DeSantis, lead BDR, says are crucial to a motivated team. He explained how that energy is cultivated.

 

What have been some of your most successful tactics in motivating your team? Why do you think these worked the best?  

I firmly believe that energy is crucial to the success of any sales organization, regardless of the product. Without a loud, fun, energetic environment, sales teams don’t thrive. We regularly engage as a team in motivational conversations and activities to prepare for client outreach sessions.

 

What sets the members of your team apart from other teams you've worked with in the past?

I’ve worked on numerous teams in the past, and the one thing that really sets this team apart from the rest is their coachability. Not only do they each individually possess a high level of drive, but they also want to better themselves every day. Each member is receptive to feedback and actively seeks it out. Combine that with our weekly Meero golden hour outings and team building activities outside of work, and you have an extremely motivated and bonded team!

 

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