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Embracing the championship mindset: Our journey to Selling Power’s Top 50 Best Companies to Sell For

This article is written by John Turner, Chief Revenue Officer at Certinia. JT builds and leads organizations to achieve breakthrough results via a playbook called the Victory Plan. He is passionate about building go-to-market strategies and scaling sales organizations that lead to great things. Get his insights here on building a championship culture and how Certinia made Selling Power’s Top 50.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sports fanatic. From my days playing college hoops at Santa Clara University, to my die hard fandom for the San Francisco 49ers forged in the dynastic days of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, sports are my personal passion. 

But it’s not just the game that gets me going. What I love—what inspires me to my core—is seeing great leaders lead great teams to accomplish great things. I call it championship culture.

Championship culture is my obsession. And that’s why I am beyond excited to share that Certinia has been named by Selling Power as one of the Top 50 Best Companies to Sell For in 2023!

You know what championship culture is when you see it. Like with coaching greats Coach K at Duke Basketball, or Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors. GOATs like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, or Diana Taurasi. Technologists like Steve Jobs, or NASA’s “Hidden Figures” Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan. Or arts and culture innovators like Hamilton playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Champions with championship culture not only win over and over. They have a positive culture; how they do it matters as much as what they do. And they develop their people to grow with the team.

Building a championship salesandmarketing culture (and yes, I use that term because I strongly believe that salesandmarketing is one word!) is a big part of what we’ve been up to in the last year. Being included on Selling Power’s list of the top 50 Best Companies to Sell For is incredible validation of our approach. 

So in this blog post, I’d love to take you on a journey into four key pillars of our championship salesandmarketing culture that have made us successful at Certinia!

1. We all work from one Victory Plan

Success isn’t just about generally being focused on winning. It’s about having a calculated plan to win, and winning at the things that contribute to your winning, down to the most basic and fundamental level. Ten-time NCAA basketball championship-winning coach at UCLA John Wooden famously believed that success started with the shoelaces. He taught each of his players to tie their laces properly: 

First, put your socks, slowly with care, over your toes. Smooth out all the wrinkles, nice and tight. Take your time. Then lace your shoes from the bottom, carefully, slowly, getting each pass nice and tight…snug! snug! snug! Snug!

We have a similar focus on fundamentals here at Certinia, through our Victory Plan. It’s a clear, one-page business plan that breaks our OKRs into goals across four key areas: Business Results, Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement, and Operational Excellence. The Victory Plan is a great way to drive alignment and accountability at all levels of the organization.

For example, when an item such as pipeline coverage goes red, the team “stops, drops, and rolls” to swarm the issue and provide ideas to get back on track. We’ll review the issue weekly until it returns to normal status. An executive sponsor is assigned to that action and helps guide the staff to address the concern, therefore, making the recovery a TEAM sport.

And like John Wooden, we also invest in making you successful at your fundamentals. Our onboarding program provides a comprehensive 90-day curriculum for new hires, including immersive workshops, on-the-job training, and reinforcement activities. The goal is to foster a strong core foundation and roadmap to productivity, thereby helping new hires meet revenue targets more swiftly and predictably. 

2. We value resilience in the face of adversity

In one of the most iconic and inspirational commercials of the 1990s, Michael Jordan famously said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

Championship teams are forged through resilience, and our salesandmarketing organization is no exception. We embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, refusing to be deterred by setbacks or rejections. We view obstacles as stepping stones toward success. We learn from failures, adapt our strategies, and bounce back stronger than ever. This determination fuels our ability to overcome any hurdles that come our way.

3. Success is a TEAM sport

As Steve Jobs once said about teamwork, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

Our sales team thrives on the power of unity. We understand that individual excellence is important, but true success is achieved when we work together as a cohesive unit. Every team member plays a critical role, and we leverage each other’s strengths to deliver exceptional results. We foster open communication, sharing insights, strategies, and best practices to elevate the entire team’s performance. Together, we celebrate victories and support each other through challenges, building a strong foundation for long-term success.

4. The customer comes first. Always.

We prioritize our customers above all else. Our championship sales team understands that customers are the lifeblood of our organization. We go the extra mile to establish meaningful relationships, truly understanding their needs, and exceed their expectations. By providing exceptional service and creating raving fans, we build long-lasting partnerships that drive our continued success. Our customer-centric approach sets us apart and cements our position as a top sales organization.

Receiving the Selling Power Top 50 Sales Organization award is a testament to our championship salesandmarketing team’s commitment to excellence. We are cultivating a winning culture that drives our pursuit of greatness. 

Are you ready to be a part of a championship culture? Check out our job openings around the world and join Certinia’s award-winning salesandmarketing team today!

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