The concept of corporate culture was launched and quickly spread in the early 1980s, when American scientists found that the company culture was crucial to the company’s overall efficiency. A sales-oriented company culture is a success factor for sales that we identified in both Sales Efficiency Study 1 and 3. Here are four important aspects to consider when building a sales-oriented culture:
the sales people should be well regarded in the whole company
It is essential to sales-oriented cultures tthat sales people are well regarder by other employees. In many companies this is not the case, because “salesmen” are sometimes associated with peddlers or an assertive types who manipulate and deceive. They have also had a low status historically. Travel, car, representation and commission may in some cases create jealousy within the company and establish negative attitudes towards sellers. If this attitude prevails, internal management must work actively to change the prevailing opinion.
all parts of the company need to contribute actively to sales
Successful companies involves all employees in the sales process. There is a norm that everyone in the company, regardless of organizational affiliation, should behave in such a way that it contributes to the ultimate goal – to increase the company’s revenue. A technician delivers not only technical solutions but also gives suggestions and advice on new products and services. Top management is having on the field and meet customers. Support is not just answering questions but also offering solutions.
Manpower introduced “Salesday” – an activity that takes place two times a year and aims to involve all employees in the company in sales one day per year. In practice, this means that everyone in the company call and process customers. To make it even more exciting they created a contest that all employees can follow in real-time.
sales results should be communicated regularly to all employees
Another success factor in building a sales-oriented culture is to communicate sales results to everyone in the company. This creates commitment and a sense of ownership while at the same time creating interest in the company’s performance.
In Metro, all employees could follow sales results in real-time on flat screens on the walls. Individual sales people’s quotes and deals, order values and pricing were reported. On Channel 5, performance indicators were visualized with a number of traffic lights in the entrance. At Samsung, as well as on Teracom, the sales figures were displayed to as soon as employees logged on to their computer in the morning.
a “sales culture” is not necessarily sales-oriented
Different sales logics require different values and norms for sales behaviour. Some of the values traditionally associated with a “sales culture” is not necessarily appropriate in combination with complex sales. For example, the common norm that “all prospects are equally important” can be improper in complex sales, where indeed it is important to occasionally drop some deals that do not have sufficient potential.