MMM-The Right Sales Culture-A Must!

If you had asked me twenty years ago what a sales culture was I would have shrugged and feigned ignorance. If you ask me today I could tell you about sales organizations that have it and those that don’t but I’m still a little hazy on the definition. Here are some general phrases/words that capture a sales group with the right culture:

  1. Common goals
  2. Similar selling styles
  3. Similar responsibilities
  4. Sales professionalism
  5. Competitive attitude
  6. The ability to enjoy each other and each others success
  7. Somewhat similar social styles
  8. A strong hunter mentality
  9. Positive attitude
  10. Commitment to the company
  11. Pride in doing the job right
  12. Willing to sacrifice
  13. Diversity

It is not enough to just hire warm bodies to sell your product. Here are a couple of reasons why this is wrong:

  1. You’ll experience too much turnover
  2. There will be no cohesiveness among the sales people
  3. You may not be hiring sales professionals

Even if the sales manager is strong and he or she is a great coach that may not be enough to create a good sales culture. The people make the culture! Many years ago I managed a group of sales people and there were two reps that never connected with me, the rest of the salespeople or for that matter anyone in the company. They were the quintessential loners, out for themselves and the dollars. Another company I had some experience with had 2 strong sales hunters and 2 sales farmers. Everyone got along well but there was no strong impetus to drive the company to new sales heights on the the part of the farmer reps.

Do you see why it’s easier to describe a company with a strong sales culture vs. trying to define sales culture? If you’re an old gaffer like me you may remember the old Boston Celtics of the 60’s and 70’s coached by Red Auerbach. These guys had a culture second to none. They had pride in the organization, were willing to sacrifice, they were consummate professionals etc. They were less a collection of individual athletes and more a well-oiled team.

I don’t think that “sales culture” gets much press or thought, mainly because culture isn’t easy to measure. You can almost feel culture better than you can measure it. Regardless, sales culture is a must. Without it you may end up with a group of salespeople that work for the same company but have a commitment only to themselves.

The Final Thought: Support bacteria-they’re the only culture some people have. Unknown

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