Sales Driven Culture
Should your company embrace a sales driven culture? If you are looking to grow profitable revenue faster, then this is a fair question to ask — especially if you have historically been a technology, engineering, or product-driven culture. One is not necessarily better than the other. It just depends upon your business strategy and marketplace.
The Definition of Sales Culture
Much has been written lately about the importance of a strong corporate culture in driving success. Think of a sales driven culture simply as how and why sales-related things really get done — the way sales people think, behave, and act. According to a recent report from the Harvard Business School, culture can account for up to half of the differential in performance between organizations in the same industry.
Sales Culture Accounts for 40% of the Difference
We agree that a sales driven culture can make the difference between thriving and just surviving. Our organizational alignment research found that culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high- and low-performing sales teams in the areas of revenue growth, margin, customer satisfaction, customer retention, sales leadership effectiveness, and sales rep engagement.
New Thinking About Sales Cultures
What is new in culture-oriented thinking is the idea that basing an entire company upon a sales driven culture can give an organization a significant competitive edge. The philosophy behind this approach is that no matter how superior your products or services may be, if you can’t convince someone to buy them in a way that makes sense for them and their unique situation, your business will stumble.
Combined with speed at which technologies and products are being disrupted, the ability to sell is taking on a more meaningful role. There are hundreds of companies with good or great products that are losing market share to competitors with superior sales and marketing capabilities.
Four Steps to Create a Sales Driven Culture
If you are ready to think of your company as first, last, and always a sales-oriented organization to help your customers to succeed, here is how you can go about embracing a sales driven culture.
Step up to the challenge of ensuring that each and every worker supports the external cultural focus of your mission to help your customers to succeed in the way they think and in the way they behave.
We are not advocating a dishonest sales strategy and personally do not believe that a win-at-all-costs sales culture is healthy or sustainable. We are advocating however that you work to resolve internal conflicts with a ruthless eye toward improving your ability to help external customers to succeed, acquire new customers, and retain and expand current customers.
Agree upon what sales needs to get and from whom in order to help their customers to be successful. Then agree upon what the sales function needs to provide to each and every department so that everyone is set up to perform at their peak. Then monitor progress and hold employees and leaders accountable to deliver.
The Bottom Line
If you can help current and prospective customer succeed better than the competition, your organization as a whole is more likely to flourish. If you accept this, take the leap toward externally leaning your entire organization’s culture toward sales.
To learn more about what it takes to create a sales driven culture, download Sales Leadership Lessons from the Field– How Much Pressure to Grow Can Your Sales Force Handle?
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