We have a sales code: Are we practicing what we preach?

At Vainu, we believe there’s a right way of doing sales. One that uses data in every step of the sales process to be truly relevant for prospects, to listen, and to provide value. However, are we practicing what we preach?

Last year we came with our own sales code: a list of sales life lessons that guide everything we do. Our code is so key to us that we strive to live by and adhere to it in every situation, regardless of circumstance.

We work hard to make sure our sales code isn’t just a plaque on the wall, so from time to time, it makes sense to reflect on our code and reflect how well we’re adhering to these sales life lessons. This is what I found out.

How we live by our sales code

1. We believe there’s a right way of doing sales, and we’re confident we’re the right people to change how people sell around the world.

Grade: A

Good progress so far. We’ve started to measure our own success based on the revenue impact we create for our customers.

2. We use our own product as much as possible. It’s the only way to know how we can help.

Grade: B+

We can still do more. For instance, I’d like to see our website use tailor-made content based on a visitor’s firmographic data and recent events.

3. We’re an active B2B sales organization, and we’re proud of it. We understand there are many salespeople out there who aren’t looking for our solution, but still need one.

Grade: A-

Sales activity has remained in decent levels throughout the year, also during the unprecedented times we live in. When a trigger event occurs, we’re not afraid of hitting the phones.

4. We aim to impress. We’re deliberate in planning how we book a meeting, run a demo, send a proposal and interact with a customer, and it shows in our delivery.

Grade: B-

Still today, some of our proposals don’t use the latest offer decks nor include personalized video greetings and automated chat pop-ups. These details increase conversions, so we need to do better.

5. We only reach out to prospects when there’s a data-driven reason to be in touch. We genuinely care about being relevant in sales.

Grade: B

“What if we run out of data-driven reasons while having a meeting booking competition?” We haven’t cracked that one yet.

6. We only sell to customers that truly benefit from us. When it’s not a fit, there’s no point forcing it.

Grade: B+

The percentage of new customers that already use a CRM is growing fast but it’s not 100% yet.

7. We celebrate our customers’ successes over our own. We understand that helping them succeed is the best way for us to succeed.

Grade C:

I just checked my latest internal deck: the slides presenting internal metrics outnumber the slides about customers. ‘Nuff said.

8. We won’t compromise who we are to achieve business goals. We’re fine saying no to a customer, a prospect, or anyone else, if conceding puts our core values at risk.

Grade: B+

Adjusting and redefining our ideal customer profile has helped tremendously to avoid compromising our core values for quick wins.

9. We’re passionate about seeing salespeople become better. When presented the opportunity, we’ll always help a fellow salesperson out. It’s fine if people use a competitor or have a different solution, as long as they’re doing sales as it should be done.

Grade A-

When remote sales became the norm, some of our team members went on LinkedIn and promised to give valuable 15-minute sparring sessions free of charge. I’ve never seen calendars fill up so quickly after that.

10. We’re excited about sales. We understand that it’s challenging, we understand that it’s frustrating at times, but we still love doing it. The ups and downs are a huge part of what makes sales special.

Grade A

Full-on remote mode revealed that if you have the right DNA in your sales team, you can easily reinvent your tactics to keep on selling. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Over to you

All in all, we’re getting close, but we’re not getting the prize yet. Still, our sales code is our blueprint for everything we do. Whenever we are faced with challenging moments, we immediately go to our sales code for guidance.

Many companies spend much time documenting their desired behaviour. It may be in the form of company values, culture code, or a sales code like ours. The challenge is to keep these values strong and live by them every day: practice them actively by bringing them into your conversations, in your hiring, your decision-making.

Now over to you, how important your sales code really is for you and your team?

Topics: Vainu, Real-Time Sales

Mikko Honkanen

Mikko Honkanen is Vainu's CEO and Co-Founder with a strong background in SaaS industry and B2B sales.