How To Build A Sales Culture That Fosters High Performers

Investing in your sales team is critical to the growth and success of your company. But what does it really take to create a knowledgeable, passionate, high-performing sales force? We spoke with our own Darragh Fitzpatrick, SVP of Sales for RollWorks, to talk about his winning strategy and the importance of team culture and setting people up for personal and professional success.

What are your goals for your sales team this year?

In our Revenue Kick-Off event in January, I laid out four accomplishments I wanted us to achieve by the end of the year. 

The first is for RollWorks to remain a great place to work and that our culture continues to grow. We are incredibly lucky to work in the environment that we do and it’s important we don’t lose sight of that. 

The second is for RollWorks to rank as a top tier ABM solution and to be considered in every customer evaluation. Just over three years ago, the RollWorks brand didn’t exist. Our progress is really impressive, but I want to ensure that when companies think “Account Based” they think of RollWorks. 

The third is for each team member to feel they’ve grown personally throughout the year. I’ve been fortunate to experience great opportunities here, and I care deeply about creating a space where my teammates can grow and be the best version of themselves. 

The final accomplishment is forRollWorks to hit its financial targets, so we’re in a strong position to hit our goals. Being in sales, we are always going to have target numbers. And with my background in sports, my competitive fire remains firmly lit!

When it comes to leading your sales team, what are your priorities?

As a leader of the RollWorks Sales team, I have two levels of priorities. The first level is relatively fixed, while the second level can change based on what the team is experiencing at any given time and can often be more tactical. 

My first level priorities include the following:

  1. Hiring, Growing, and Retaining Top Talent

I’m fortunate to have such a talented team at RollWorks, and it’s so crucial to the success of our organization. I spend a minimum of 25% of my time in this area, and I see three key components: 

The first is hiring great people. At RollWorks, we heavily invest in understanding the profile of candidates we believe can be successful. We have developed a robust hiring engine that is designed to give us the best possible chance to make great hires. 

The second is helping them grow. Once you hire someone, it’s crucial to set them up for success. Our rockstar Sales Enablement Director, Cheryl Bisram, developed a best-in-class onboarding program that is incredibly detailed and has received excellent feedback from our new hires. 

The third is retaining our talent. The market is competitive, and we work hard to support our people through enablement, career development, compensation reviews, and by creating an enjoyable work environment where people feel successful.

  1. Sales Strategies and Process

I spend a lot of time deeply understanding our sales motions and identifying where we can improve. This can be everything from tooling to territory management to demo decks, but it’s critical to analyze every step needed to consistently close and retain customers. 

So far in this year, we’ve hired 20 Account Executives. As a result, we realized we needed to devise a smarter way to work our TAM. We collaborated across Operations, Marketing, Product, and Sales teams to develop a sophisticated framework that is better aligned to how we should be acquiring customers. We also used our own product to do this, which was great!

  1. Revenue Planning

As the SVP of Sales, a critical part of my role is understanding what our revenue-generating functions can deliver. This requires a lot of cross-functional work to ensure we have the necessary resources and direction to achieve our financial goals. 

A big part of this is understanding resourcing across the company, as so many teams impact sales. I’ve seen sales environments in the past try to invest heavily in hiring Account Executives but don’t have the appropriate foundations in place across other crucial supporting teams, which ultimately leads to challenges. I don’t want us to repeat those mistakes.

As a sales leader, what are the key factors to ensure your team is set up for success?

One of my strong beliefs is that in sales you have to create an environment that is fair, and that every person on your team has a chance to be successful. Here are some key factors that come to mind:

  • Create a clear and realistic compensation plan

  • Create a culture of collaboration where individuals don’t feel isolated

  • Provide them with the right tools to do their role

  • Build a best-in-class Sales Enablement function and culture of coaching

  • Build a strong working relationship with the critical functions that will support Sales, such as Partnerships, CS, Marketing, Product, Sales Ops, Finance, and Legal. 

How do you scale your team and still keep these elements in place?

Scaling teams is not easy and requires a lot of deep-thinking to do it effectively. I’ve seen Sales teams in the past scale fast but ultimately struggle. When we set out to expand the RollWorks sales teams, we knew we had to get three things right. 

The first was hiring and onboarding. We developed a rigorous recruiting process that involves thinking through everything from ideal candidate profiles to hiring manager training, to standardizing questions and formalizing review meetings. In addition to this, we built an onboarding program that every new hire goes through, which has received excellent feedback from recent hires.

The second was investing in collaborative teams. When we decided to scale the RollWorks Sales team, we spent an equal amount of time thinking through how all of the functions that would enable us to be successful would be resourced. This allows new hires to immediately have the necessary support to succeed.

The third was putting a sales process and pipeline management in place. As you scale, it gets harder to be close to every deal, so the structure you build really matters. We invested significantly in our pipeline management to develop a more predictable acquisition business, and we are iterating on our sales process.

What are your must-have productivity tools?

There is a handful that comes to mind. Salesforce is our source of truth, and we built our reporting and insights off the data entered – so that’s critical for us. In addition, our teams are active users of Outreach, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, and ShowPad.

What does a great Sales culture look like? 

I think first off, you need to answer, “What is Sales culture?” In my mind, it’s the attitude, behaviors, and habits your Sales organization exemplifies. A successful Sales culture brings out the best in the team. The things that stand out to me, when I think of a great Sales culture are:

  • Healthy competition

  • Accountability

  • A focus on learning and development

  • Continuous iteration on the sales process

  • Collaboration within and across teams

  • Career development

Why do you think RollWorks Sales is an exciting team to work on?

I’m definitely aware there are a lot of companies hiring at the moment for top Sales talent, but there are some key things that stand out when I think about why RollWorks is an exciting place to work. 

We provide Sales reps a fair opportunity to hit and overachieve their quota, and we want every Account Executive to see their number as realistic. The onboarding program I mentioned before is incredibly supportive in helping new hires ramp up and settle into the RollWorks Sales organization.

The ABM marketing is growing rapidly as thousands of companies look to put a platform in place that can help their business scale. RollWorks SaaS business alone is growing over 100% YoY. When you have periods of high growth like this, it creates opportunities for individual contributors to take on more responsibility and develop more skills. But ultimately, it’s the incredible culture we built. Our team cares about each Roller and provides an environment where you can bring your authentic self, and we will embrace that.

Want to see where your ambition will take you next? We’re growing and changing fast, and we’re always looking for talented, diverse, and growth-minded people to help drive our success and grow along with us. Explore our open Sales roles.