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Are your corporate culture and sales culture on the same page?

Thought Leadership on Creating a High Performing Sales Culture presented by Sandler Training Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group.

Are you accelerating through this economic landscape, or is your company just a few percentage points ahead of inflation? If you could wave a magic wand and recreate your sales and business development team, what would it look like?

These are questions every executive and owner should be asking, at least semi-annually. Make a conscious effort to continually tweak the culture of your sales management and salesforce.

What is your corporate culture?

Before you go adjusting your sales team, you need to understand what the culture of your company and determine whether your sales team supports it. You cannot have a sales culture that is contrary to corporate culture. Gather your executives and review or reestablish your company’s core values and mission statement.

Identify the culture:

  • What is the balance between task- and relationship-oriented individuals.
  • Do you have a sales, manufacturing, people or engineering driven organization?
  • Is your company focused on cutting-edge, innovative or conservative technology?
  • Does your company have an image of low-cost producer or high quality perfection?

You may be disciplined in making these assessments with your existing staff. However, an objective, unemotionally involved third party can often be a tremendous asset in facilitating such an undertaking.

Identify your sales culture

Start with your sales management team. What drives them to be effective managers? Do they believe in and support the corporate culture?

Your management team needs to be nurturing enough to mentor, tough enough to coach and supervise, and intelligent enough to train. You can teach them to be trainers and supervisors, but coaches and mentors earn these positions through experience, knowledge and action.

Now evaluate your salesforce. Determine how you want them to act and perform. You may prefer employees to behave as independent contractors in charge of their own destinies. Decide on the type of relationship your company needs to have with your customers/clients. Long-term loyal relationships or “one time sales” experts are both appropriate depending on the industry, and as long as the corporate culture is reflected in their actions.

There are several common and necessary characteristics that sales people need to possess in all cultures.

 Inherent characteristics:

  • A positive attitude
  • Personal integrity
  • A desire and commitment to constantly improve personally and in their sale results

 Trainable:

  • A reproducible selling system that can be managed effectively
  • Product knowledge
  • A clear and concise understanding of the corporate culture
  • An ability to communicate with all types of personalities

Build It

Once you have identified the ideal sales culture, write it down for all to see and understand. Begin molding and correcting your existing sales culture by hiring and removing individuals with this culture in mind. You should see dramatic changes in your sales results once this process is complete.

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