Sales culture, Part 2: 4 NYC teams share strategies for staying motivated

by Liz Warren
April 19, 2019

In part two of a two-part series on sales culture in tech, we learned that even the most naturally motivated employees can fall stagnant if they’re not in an engaging environment.

We spoke to four of NYC’s brightest sales leaders to learn their strategies for keeping their teams performing at their best. A few respondents noted that it all boils down to trusting their employees, and explained the connection between trust and engagement within their high-performing crews.

 

trustpilot
image via trustpilot

Sales Manager Matthew Herlihy, who started at community-driven review platform Trustpilot about four years ago, attributes his team’s success to their innate work ethic. He explained that, while each team member is motivated by different things, they’re all able to stay engaged because they just naturally want to do a good job.

 

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

It really comes down to what motivates them individually. Everyone is different and I approach each rep uniquely. In addition, the team is really bought into the overall success of the team as a whole. So while they're all working hard for their individual targets, they're very much looking to ensure we finish as the top team each and every quarter. The overall team goals have really helped everyone hold each other accountable and keep morale high.

 

With such competitiveness within the team, it allows for each rep to motivate one another.”

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

It sounds simple, but they're all really hard workers on their own. They each set goals and work to accomplish them. With such competitiveness within the team, it allows for each rep to motivate one another. On top of that we're very open and honest with one another and often share best practices, as well as what's not working.

 

peakon
image via peakon

For employee engagement platform Peakon, it’s less about motivational tactics and more about setting up a healthy environment where employees can thrive. Chief Revenue Officer Neil Ryland explained how he cultivated that kind of workplace for his team.

 

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

I don't think you need tactics to build a motivated team. Instead, you need to create a team culture built on values — loyalty, attitude and tenacity —  and then lead by example. Creating a values-based team ensures that regardless of which processes you implement or what changes the team face, you have the foundation to get you through the good times and the challenging. Creating these simple frameworks ensures that everyone is in the best position to learn, develop and succeed personally and financially.

Every member of the team cares about outcomes for the business — not just for themselves.”

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

They reflect our values in abundance and do whatever it takes to find a way to win for the customer and for Peakon. Every member of the team cares about outcomes for the business — not just for themselves. Managing and leading this global team is an honor.

We share best practices globally and locally, meaning every team member has an opportunity to present their success stories and lessons learned to drive a better tomorrow. In addition, we have built a sales academy program that takes the most talented graduates and trains them through buddy programs to progress into world-class sales execs. Our vision is to be the best and help everyone reach their full potential.

 

tessian
image via tessian

Commercial Operations Manager Xan Winterton encourages his team to try new things. An email security platform with machine learning capabilities, Tessian is no stranger to harnessing the power of fresh, bold ideas. Winterton explained how that’s helped his team.

 

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

Celebrating team member wins is an important part of motivating the team. Whether it’s getting us through the door of a new company, onboarding a new customer, upselling to an existing client or executing a great event, each win is hugely important to the success of Tessian and we want to make sure everyone knows that. Another key motivator is giving people the autonomy to run and execute on ideas. If they think it’s something that can generate new business or improve a workflow, we will back them. Having this freedom to experiment with new ideas and take ownership of a project is not only motivating, but also means team members develop new skills very quickly.

They aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, which sparks creativity and develops a culture that’s committed to positive change.”

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

The team is very adaptable to their working environment. They get exposure to all parts of the business and have to pick up new skills every day, and they do so very easily. They all listen to feedback from team members, ensuring we learn from our mistakes and improve as a team. They aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, which sparks creativity and develops a culture that’s committed to positive change.

 

unacast
image via unacast

Autonomy and collaboration may seem like contradicting priorities, but at big data company Unacast, it’s a winning combination for the sales team. Sales Director Lauren Spinazze explained how both values contribute to success.

 

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

We are given autonomy and entrusted with the ability to be creative with our own sales processes. Each sales person brings their own unique approach and style to their process, which is both celebrated and encouraged. One of our company-wide values is “be your own CEO,” and we are encouraged to practice that every day.

Our team is uniquely synergistic.”

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

Our team is uniquely synergistic. Everyone on our team is willing to step up to help one another with any problems or stumbles they might encounter throughout the sales cycle. Chances are that one of us has been in a similar situation, and we believe in helping each other grow and work through those problems together more efficiently and effectively.

 

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