Does your organization have a “Sales Culture”?
I had a discussion recently with one of the top business coaches in the country, Brian Cork (www.brianthebusinesscoach.com), and we were talking about selling to companies that have a sales culture. That got me to thinking about that term “Sales Culture” and what it meant. So, I Googled it and what I found was mostly blogs and promotions for sales training to help organizations implement a “Sales Culture” within their organization. However, I did find some great examples of what they thought it was. Here are some excerpts from some of those findings:
- Everything that one does every day has a systemic effect on a client’s decision to do business with your organization. Building a culture that encourages everyone to think about how their individual job impacts the client will produce a happier client, a more productive working environment, job security and more revenue.
- Sales culture encompasses specific beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that, when integrated into the fabric of an organization, revolutionizes your ability to connect with your prospects, clients, customers, donors and funders, all in service of truly helping them get what they want and need, while at the same time maximizing your revenue.
- Gallup defines “culture” as the attitudes that employees have about the environment in which they work.
- Quote from Todd Cohen (www.toddcohen.com), “Sales Culture shows sales leaders at companies of all sizes how to multiply their sales effectiveness by harnessing the power of the entire organization and ALL its stakeholders in the pursuit of closing sales.”
So, I actually took this question to a LinkedIn discussion group to see what people thought about this concept and whether it was something they felt they had. One person responded: “Chuck and Edmund…in your experiences what can we as sales people do internally to get our colleagues from various departments to subscribe to the position Chuck laid out? I echo your sentiments Edmund that as a frontline sales person it is frustrating and often very difficult when those away from the frontline do not support the positives of really great attitudes to sales.” One of the best responses came with this statement: “Many years ago, the CEO of a company I worked for has called everyone for a general meeting and stated: “There are two kinds of people in this company: the ones who sell and the ones who help to sell. If you are not one of these kinds, there is no place for you here. Any questions? Well, that company definitely had a sales culture…”
I totally agree with that CEO. What he was attempting to say was that no matter what your job is within the company, everyone is linked to helping the company sell, because without sales there would be no company for them to work for. So, those companies that have that type of mindset and culture will be able to answer the question at the top of this post. Is that the type of culture within your organization, or like the first person who responded to our LinkedIn question, do you have a culture of silos, where everyone is just about their group or department? Those people are completely disconnected from what their role is with regards to the ultimate role within the company and that is to sell and service their customers. Just because you may not speak to the customer doesn’t mean that you aren’t connected to them. Unfortunately, that is how most organizations work today. In order for an organization to truly have a sales culture then, like the CEO example from the LinkedIn discussion, it has to start at the top and everyone in the organization has to embrace the attitude and behavior that fosters a sales culture.
At least that’s the way I see it, what say you?