Recently I read the book: The Complete Guide to accelerating sales force performance. I discovered it reading this interesting blog post from Sten Tamkivi. The book covers many interesting aspects related to sales forces. The last chapter is related to building a sales force culture. Some of the interesting points from the book are the following:
- A sales force culture is the unwritten rules guiding salespeople and sales managers whenever a decision is made. A strong culture provides a framework for sales people so that they can make good decisions automatically
- Culture starts and develop communicating norms and values, but the most powerful communication medium are the actions of the sales team. If a manger wants to communicate a value, the best approach is alligning words and actions
- To understand a sales force culture a good starting point is to observe its work style: how they make decisions, how they interact with colleagues and customers. In fact a sales organization objective is to make decisions on some specific sales force drivers: market segmentation, sales team size, people recruiting and training, etc.. These decisions will define a priority scale of values, influencing the sales force activities. Culture and work style will create a reinforcing loop, culture will reward and influence a specific work style, and the work style will reinforce the culture. Which culture and work style will be developed in a specific company will depend on many factors like: product, market, management team, etc..
- A new sales force culture starts with its first employee, how he will hire, manage, and reward will define the culture. Once a culture is defined, making a change will not be easy, it will require a good leader who will be capable to communicate a new vision
Which is the culture at your company?