Episode Seven

How to Prevent a Toxic Work Environment and Build One That Supports Sales Engagement

Guest: Jason Vargas, Senior Consultant at Skaled

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How to Prevent a Toxic Work Environment & Build One That Supports Sales Engagement

About This Episode

Toxic environments crush companies.

Regardless of whether you have an enthusiastic sales team with world-class training, if they are trying to create engagement within a toxic environment, they are already set up to fail.

On today’s episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast, Jason Vargas, Senior Consultant at Skaled, walks us through why these types of environments exist and what steps you can take today to start creating a strong, healthy environment that encourages and supports sales engagement.

Here are some key takeaways from Jason’s interview.

Environment is Not the Same as Culture

It seems like everyone is talking about building and creating culture at the moment, and rightfully so.

While culture is absolutely vital to any business or team, if it doesn’t have the underlying foundation of a healthy and strong environment, culture can’t grow.

“We don’t say ‘toxic culture’, we say ‘toxic environment’.” – Jason Vargas

Environment has everything to do with the experience an individual has when they interact with the company or an employee and that feeling that they’re left with.

You could have the most amazing sales process with an incredible product, but if the company is built on a toxic environment, it won’t succeed.

It Starts at the Top

An environment is built around it’s leaders and it absolutely starts at the top.

A paranoid and deceptive CEO will filter that toxicity down through leadership and, ultimately, to its employees and customers, whether it’s intentional or not.

The environment is naturally derived from the personality or character of its leadership, which is why it’s essential to have a rigorous vetting process when hiring your management team.

Creating a Self-sustaining Environment to Outlive You

The key to creating a healthy environment is setting it up to outlive you.

The tech sales industry is high pressure and there’s huge expectations, and, without support of environment, you’ll get burnout as a leader. You only have so much bandwidth and can’t spend all your time managing toxicity.

So, how do you build a legacy of a healthy sales environment?

Extreme ownership. And it starts with you, as a leader.

If you take on 100% of the responsibility of your team’s successes and failures and then you teach that to your team, that is the start of building something healthy. You can’t give 75% and expect your team to make up the difference, and vice versa, which just leaves room for pointing fingers when things go wrong.

Ownership, in this sense, creates level of integrity that you have to operate from inside of. If you are failing at something, there’s probably some kind of integrity missing.

Train people to operate at a higher level, so they can turn around and manage themselves. That’s the framework–high integrity paves the way for healthy environments.

Next Steps You Can Take Today

  1. Encourage people to make mistakes – give them space to try new things and teach that nothing has to be perfect.
  2. Check your ego at the door – be humble enough to proactively ask for feedback and advice on where you can improve.
  3. Be encouraging.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Jason Vargas from Skaled. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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