Fuel Growth Podcast: Adopting a Sales-Led Culture

On this episode of the Fuel Growth podcast series, my co-host Lizzy and I got to sit down with Scott Hebert, Chief Revenue Officer of SYSPRO Americas. SYSPRO is an enterprise resource planning software solution for companies of all sizes in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. With over 25 years of experience in his profession, Scott brings in-depth experience on how to build a sales-led culture with successful sales strategies. He demonstrates strong management skills with his commitment to prioritizing customer-centric and partner-centric approaches. 

We were extra excited to speak with Scott this week to understand more about how a sales-led approach to growth is any organization’s key to creating successful go-to-market (GTM) plans and results.  

6 Ways to Create a Winning Culture for Your Sales Team 

1. Take risks

Scott started off this thought by reminding us that you need to acknowledge that you’re not going to win every deal. He stated, “We are not going to win every opportunity. Acknowledge that. But let’s win the ones we can, and let’s win the ones where it’s a bit more risky because that’s where the real growth is going to come from”. In sales, taking risks is like stepping into the unknown—it’s scary, but it’s where your career-defining moments will happen. It’s about being bold, trying new things, and learning from both successes and failures, making every challenge an opportunity to shine and improve.

2. Constantly Evolve 

Embracing constant growth as a sales rep is like mastering a never-ending dance with the market; it keeps you in tune with customers’ shifting desires and the pulse of new sales strategies. Scott went on to say that an area of growth he has noticed was being able to be industry-fluid. He said, “That’s where you start discovering there might be an entire industry that you’re an excellent fit for. Industry and verticals within companies don’t come about because you decide you want to win a deal. You learn the industry, and then you rinse and repeat. Taking the chance to learn about a new industry is an excellent avenue for growth within any company”. 

3. Understand Why You May Fall Short

Having your sales reps know why they may have lost a potential sale, as devastating as it may be at the moment, is key for their growth trajectory. Scott said, “They need to be putting detailed notes in their CRM, such as, ‘Why did we win this?’, ‘What were the key problems the customer is trying to solve?’, ‘Where were we a perfect fit?’, ‘Were we not a perfect fit?’. That way, everybody else learns from that so they can use that for future opportunities. He went on to say, “Sharing information about why you won or lost is so important. As a company, it’s imperative to know exactly why we lost—and it can’t just be because the guy didn’t like my face. It has to be because of these key things, or these features or functionalities, or that we didn’t get to a certain decision-maker. Those are the types of things that we can learn from and correct the next time around”. This knowledge acts as a powerful learning tool, empowering sales reps to adapt, improve their approach, and ultimately increase their success rates in selling.

4. Go Beyond Just Sales—Share Information With Everyone

Sales reps serve as the linchpin connecting real customer experiences with the inner workings of a company.  Scott mirrored this when he said, “You need to put in place programs that make sure that your sales teams are sharing information more widely with each other. They need to be sharing with not just other sales teams, but product teams, support teams, etc, so everyone can be on the same page, in the same system”. This shared knowledge not only enriches products and services but also strengthens the human connections that drive a thriving, customer-centric business.

5. Give Credit Where Credit is Due

You need to be sharing wins with everyone, not just sales. Scott said, “I think one of the things we need to do is take credit beyond just sales. One of the things I’ve always instilled is we do a sales win notice, and it’s not just triggering your CRM to say we won the deal. Great, everybody sees it. But what I really like is when it adds details about who the competition was, why were we selected, and what were some of the critical points that made that happen. You need to put that out there, either through the CRM system automatically triggered or even in a more marketing-driven email, because everybody likes to know you’re getting wins”. He went on to say, “But I also like to make sure that we celebrate a support win, where our support team assisted the customer and got an incredible compliment from them. And what we do is we send out notes that have quotes from customers, and we acknowledge the support team that brought that win”. Giving credit where credit is due is giving a nod to the unique contribution each person made, creating a sense of belonging and shared achievement that keeps everyone inspired and connected in the workplace.

6. Work with Marketing

In Scott’s opinion, he stated that one of the most important mechanics and important pieces of sales is that they partner really closely with marketing. He said, “Marketing and sales are really one in the same thing; it’s just coming at it from a different part of the sales cycle. Marketing is coming at it from the very inception, while sales is coming at it from the first demonstration through close. We’re making sure that marketing and sales are communicating the same message because marketing does such a great job of helping us create the messages, so we on the sales side of things have to be consistent across both what we’re telling you before they even pick up the phone to call us to what we’re telling them as they’re about to sign the contract. There needs to be consistency”. At the end of the day, you need a well-oiled machine in order to go from an MQL to an SQL quickly. 

5 Pieces of Sales Career Advice from Scott

1. “People Buy from People They Like”

Scott emphasizes the fundamental truth that lies at the heart of every successful sales interaction: people buy from people they like and trust. Building genuine relationships is the cornerstone of effective selling. It’s not just about the product; it’s about the person behind the pitch, the empathy they show, and the trust they inspire. 

2. “Always Under Promise and Over Deliver”

Under-promising and over-delivering is a mantra that echoes across industries. It’s a commitment to exceeding expectations, a practice that not only surprises and delights customers but also builds a reputation of reliability and integrity.

3. “In Selling, Sometimes a ‘No’ Response is Best Followed by a ‘Yes’ Answer”

Navigating the intricate dance of objections, Scott highlights the art of turning a ‘no’ into an opportunity. By understanding the customer’s needs and concerns deeply, a thoughtful ‘yes’ can lead to constructive dialogue, showcasing how your solution addresses their requirements better than they anticipated.

4. “Understand When to Pull the Ripcord”

Recognizing the value of time and resources, Scott advocates for the wisdom of knowing when to walk away from a deal that isn’t a good fit. It’s about honesty, openness, and respecting both your and your client’s resources. Sometimes, a strategic retreat paves the way for future fruitful engagements.

5. “As a Leader, Command and Control Doesn’t Work”

Scott’s leadership philosophy challenges the traditional notion of command and control. He understands that trust, inspiration, and leading by example form the bedrock of effective leadership. By empowering and inspiring his team, he fosters an environment where creativity and collaboration flourish, propelling everyone towards shared success.

Taking Sales to the Next Level: Unleashing the Power of Growth and Innovation

In the ever-evolving world of sales, these nuggets of wisdom from Scott serve as guiding stars, reminding us that behind every successful deal lies a genuine connection, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and a leadership style rooted in trust and inspiration. As we navigate the intricate tapestry of sales, embracing these principles can transform not just our careers but also the very essence of how we connect with others in the world of business.

Want to learn more on the subject? Listen to our full podcast conversation here for a more in-depth look into how switching to a product-led sales model can be the driving force for acquiring, retaining, and growing your customer base. If you want to catch up on our previous episodes, you can do so here or on your favorite podcast app.

About the Contributor
Clint Oram
Clint Oram Clint helped found SugarCRM in 2004 with the goal of enabling companies around the world to turn their customers into loyal fans. Today, he leads strategy and acquisitions for the company. Clint was one of the original architects and developers of the Sugar application and has focused on building out the product, company, partners and community in a variety of executive roles. Prior to co-founding SugarCRM, Clint held senior roles in the development, professional services and product management organizations at Epiphany, Octane Software and Hewlett Packard. He has 20 years of experience in the enterprise software industry and over 15 years designing and building award-winning CRM software solutions. Clint holds a BS in computer science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is the co-author of multiple CRM software patents. Clint enjoys traveling and speaking at conferences on a variety of customer experience and entrepreneurship topics, and has visited SugarCRM customers and partners in over 25 countries.