How to Build a Sales-Driven Culture

By: Scott Seroka

When CEOs hear the word “culture,” most think about internal metrics such as productivity, morale, communication, teamwork and performance. As important as these metrics are, none on their own can go toe-to-toe with the metric of improving sales. For the growth-minded company, building a sales-driven culture is, was, and always will be the priority of the day. After all, without sales, a company wouldn’t exist.

In one of my earlier blogs, Culture has nothing to do with touchy-feely stuff, I stressed that culture must be strategic and deliberate, and that it has nothing to do with the ping-pong table in the break room. Sure, building a culture of continuous improvement, operational excellence and leadership is critical, however, the undercurrent of a successful culture must be one that keeps sales at the forefront as a reminder to everyone their jobs wouldn’t exist without sales.

There are a number of tactics you could deploy to integrate a sales-driven culture within your organization:

  1. Proactively keep everyone in the know on how successful (or unsuccessful) the company is at hitting its sales goals. The sales chart in the meeting room is often not much more than sharpie marker wall art of poor penmanship, often abused by others (in non-sales roles) to draw tasteless emoticon humor. In a true sales-driven organization, the CEO makes a conscious effort to regularly and consistently communicate sales achievements (or losses) through company-wide emails, newsletters, town hall meetings, etc., along with accolades or explanations.
  2. Schedule times for non-salespeople to attend and/or participate in sales meetings. Everyone should understand and appreciate the challenges salespeople face every single day to keep the money flowing in. Salespeople face unrelenting rejection, objections and disrespect every day. No other role, except that of the CEO, is as stressful and risky, yet also as rewarding.
  3. Place a company-wide, unrelenting focus on client retention and earning referrals through fanatical client service. We’re in a service economy. We always have been, and always will. Fortunately for you, this presents great opportunities as many companies still don’t understand the importance of delivering excellent service. (Just look at the airline, communications and healthcare industries.) And, it’s not that difficult, as long as your culture is properly trained how to adopt and maintain a client-service mindset. Here’s a simple way to get started – everything you and your staff needs to know can be found in Dale Carnegies book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Is it really that simple? Yes, it is.
  4. Ensure everyone knows and understands what the company’s sales tiebreaker (value proposition) is. In other words, when all things appear equal in a sales environment, what is the one thing (or group of things) your company offers that competitors do not, or cannot deliver as well. Oftentimes, a strong sales tiebreaker will place many competitors in second place.

Why is instilling a sales-driven culture so important? The answer is simple – sales is the lifeblood of any organization. Nothing else is nearly as important.

If you would like to discuss a strategy for creating a sales-driven culture in your organization, contact us today.