First, what is culture? Second, what is the desired culture? And finally, what does it have to do with sales?
By Ken Thoreson
November 27, 2012
It’s something I seldom find in many organizations. While many companies focus on increasing communication between employees and/or building the right kind of culture to maintain a proper atmosphere, many seem to fail. Even with the many books that have been written on communication and culture building I see people struggling to “get it right.” The first step is most individuals simply are confused as to what is culture!
In many situations we get involved in we are required to change the current environment where attitudes, systems and people have lost the earlier culture of entrepreneurialism and are now lost in a larger more complex organization or worst the company is in a free fall.
Recently during a client meeting the management team discussed the need to create or maintain their culture during the next stage of their growth, they talked about; clothing styles, flex time, taking breaks and other concepts. Where they were missing the point was culture is really not about tactical elements put together by Human Resources. While there are tactical elements in building culture, leadership must first determine what is the desired culture!
Something many people forget is culture must also be in alignment with your value proposition and your business model! Are you a best value company? A cost efficient/low cost model or are you focused on customer intimacy? Depending on your business situation the culture of how you lead your organization will change, but what is the one of most important considerations? It is your leadership philosophy.
What are the basic tenets of your leadership/management style? This basic belief will guide you in how you make decisions, how and what you communicate to your employees and how you manage your business. Get that right and ensure it has clarity and the rest will happen.
If you would like I have two articles on building culture:
1) 10 ways to build a business culture like Apple
2) 18 Actions to Build Your Culture
Hint: The two things we do quickly to build a “sales driven” culture is 1) to turn all sales quotas/reports into Sales Numbers rather than revenue numbers and 2) we alter the process on running the weekly sales meeting by developing a prescriptive agenda format. What are your thoughts on creating a sales driven culture?
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 14 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book is: Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans!