How to Embrace a Sales Driven Culture

Sales Driven Culture picture of sales rep creating higher revenue growth graph

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 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.

  1. Revamp Your Mission to be Sales-focused
    Embody your new focus in your mission statement so that there is no doubt about why you are in business and how you intend to operate. Make sure your entire work force understands you plan to grow profits by acquiring new customers, serving those customers for increased profitability, and building long-term customer loyalty by helping them to succeed.
  2. Personally Communicate and Reinforce the New Sales Mission
    Do not rely on others to spread the word. It is your responsibility as a leader to reinforce the message at every turn. Too many companies publish their mission once and then assume it will become embedded in the culture.

    Step up to the challenge of ensuring that each and every worker supports the external focus of your mission to help your customers to succeed in the way they think and the way they behave.

  3. Create Alignment with Sales
    Sales is all about profitable and consistent growth. At times this can create problems for other departments. The sales team, eager to close a deal, can make promises of delivery that tax manufacturing or create expectations of product enhancements that put pressure on the design team.

    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 people accountable to deliver.

  4. Focus on Building a High Performance Sales Culture
    Build a high performing sales environment by setting clear and achievable performance expectations, establishing fair and transparent metrics, holding team members accountable, rewarding high performers, and coaching or changing struggling performers.

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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We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

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LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

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We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

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LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

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Thoratec

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

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Director of HR

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