5 ways Intuit is building a great virtual sales culture

When all employees can feel connected, celebrated, and rewarded, regardless of where they work, a strong company culture is created. Here's how Intuit's U.S. Sales team kept that supportive and energetic spirit alive after shifting to a virtual-first strategy.

A screenshot of 9 employees from a Zoom call with blue backgrounds giving a thumbs up.
A screenshot of 8 employees from a Zoom call with blue backgrounds giving a thumbs up.

How do you build a supportive, energetic and inspiring culture when the sales team adjusts to a virtual-first strategy? You think differently about how to keep that sales culture and sales spirit alive, how to make each employee feel recognized, rewarded and motivated to make amazing things happen.

Intuit’s U.S. Sales Team supports our customers with a suite of products that include QuickBooks, TurboTax, Mailchimp, and ProConnect for customers ranging from self-employed, small businesses, mid-market, and accountants and partners. With such a diverse and large team, how could we help employees thrive, fall in love with Intuit, never want to leave, and refer their talented friends and former colleagues? Here are five ways to make sure all employees can feel connected, celebrated, and rewarded in a fully virtual working environment based on experiences led by Intuit’s U.S. Sales Events Team:

1. Lead with recognition and connection.

Be customer-obsessed. Find out what really matters to the people you’re serving. Based on Intuit’s own listening sessions and surveys, employees are inspired by recognition and connection. So these pillars are part of every event program for the U.S. Sales Team.

During a recent Spirit Week, individuals and teams posted pictures of the daily theme via internal chat channels, from Intuit swag to dress like your boss. At the same time, anyone could nominate team members who displayed exceptional teamwork and who represented Intuit’s Values. One sales rep said, “Despite being a remote employee, I always feel connected via Slack, emails, and events.”

2. Be inclusive with your events and activities.

Virtual is not a second thought. Employees should have the same level of experiences, virtual or in-person. Events and programs should cater to all identities, personality styles, experiences, and comfort levels. One employee commented, “Intuit always does an excellent job with the inclusion of all people. Your offerings are broad and provide ways for everyone to participate. Thank you, I never feel alone!” Even prizes can be intentional and thoughtful. For the team’s recent Bake Off competition, all participants who submitted a photo received a special treat from Intuit small business customer, Supernatural, and the winners got to pardon (and name) a turkey. Now, Aysep Elsa (the pardoned turkey) is living out her best days at a nonprofit sanctuary in sunny California.

3. Align with company values.

Employees want to believe in the values of their company. One of Intuit’s longest-standing values is We Care and Give Back. It’s deeply rooted in our culture and encourages employees to give back in personally meaningful ways to better our communities. That’s why during the recent Intuit Platinum Club experience in Hawaii for the company’s top 10 percent of global sales talent, winners and their guests spent a day at the Lana’i School and Youth Center building picnic tables, sports equipment and school supply storage units. The team also beautified picnic areas and classrooms, and they planted a vegetable garden to grow food locally. The Youth Center Director, Nancy Rajaei, said, “Intuit did more in one day than we could have accomplished on our own in 5 years.” 

4. Keep customers at the center of everything you do.

One of Intuit’s core values is to be customer obsessed. Integrating our small business customers and their products and services into employee experiences is one of the successful ways we help employees connect with the customers we serve, and it’s a great reminder of why we do what we do. Whenever we can partner with and promote Intuit customers in our programs, we do. For the first in-person U.S. Sales Kickoff program for sales managers, QuickBooks and Mailchimp customers were sourced for the welcome treats and a photo booth experience. For the first-ever Small Business Big Impact day, thousands of employees united to support their local communities by packaging and delivering $1 million worth of goods that Intuit purchased directly from 250 small businesses and donated to local nonprofits.

Remote employees also participated in 10 virtual events to support various global nonprofit organizations in the US, UK, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Sydney and Singapore.  For Platinum Club, 10 Intuit customers, including a woman-owned event management agency, local painter, and local small-passenger airline were hired to bring that experience to life.

5. Measure success and act on it.

It’s important to know how your employees really feel. Make sure you create opportunities to consistently gather formal and informal feedback. Important–but often overlooked–are employees who didn’t participate in an activity. Their insights can help you find gaps and improve future opportunities to be truly inclusive and effective. And, of course, ask those who participated for their feedback and takeaways. After Platinum Club, one employee said: “I’ve worked in various sales roles over the past two decades and made some form of presidents club over a dozen times. None of those have ever even come close.” Another commented: “This was my first year at Intuit. Once I knew I was in with a chance, my whole focus was on winning the prize. So to say it motivated me is an understatement.”

These programs are just a few examples of the strong company culture at Intuit, a workplace that cares deeply about the employee experience. So much so that there is a team dedicated to creating engaging and celebratory experiences for Intuit’s fully virtual U.S. Sales team. This extends beyond the sales organization, too. Intuit is dedicated to being the place where all employees–whether they work from home or on-site or hybrid– can do the best work of their lives.

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