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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

10 Questions Sales Managers Should Ask About Their Sales Culture


Culture is defined as a way of life for a group of people. When in doubt about what to do, the members will fall back on what they have learned from their culture. They don’t even think about it—they just know what their culture would tell them to do.

Business organizations all have a culture, and when you walk into a business and take an instant like or dislike to being there, you are experiencing their culture. Sometimes they don’t even have to say anything—it’s an attitude you can almost feel.

Business-to-business organizations don’t often have potential customers walk into a physical location. Often a salesperson is how the client and prospect experience your organization’s culture. What is your sales culture telling them?

The word culture has roots in the concept “to cultivate.” When you build a culture, you truly are cultivating the behaviors and values of your team. You're setting the bar for what they do when you’re not looking.

Let’s look at 10 questions you can ask yourself to determine what kind of sales culture you are building:

Topics: sales management sales culture

How a Holiday Party Can Help You Increase Sales Performance


When you pay attention, a holiday party can tell you a lot about your team’s talents. And what you learn about each person could change the way you coach them, and make them more successful.

Recently, I talked with a sales manager who took his team on a bowling outing to celebrate the holiday season. It was a fun team building activity, and it also taught him a lot about each person’s strengths.

The organized, fun salesperson on his team planned the entire outing down to the bowling teams and the gift exchange. Everything was perfect, and everyone had a great time.  

The relationship seller got everyone to participate in a hilarious game where you eat disgusting flavored jelly beans. Everyone did what she asked and completely trusted her when she said, “it’s really not that bad.”

Topics: sales culture Talent salespeople

12 Gift Ideas for Sales Managers to Give Their Salespeople


The holidays are the perfect time to show your team how much you appreciate them. But sometimes it's hard to think of meaningful gift ideas. We've got you covered this year! We collected ideas from our sales consulting staff here at The Center for Sales Strategy (each of whom was once a salesperson and a sales manager) to share with you. Here are 12 gift ideas you can't go wrong with.

Topics: holiday sales culture

Leadership Lessons: Leaders Eat Last


As the son of a Naval Commander, I heard my fair share of military wisdom and leadership advice from my dad as I was growing up at military bases around the world. We were stationed at the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Rota, Spain, and when he wasn’t flying a reconnaissance mission I would regularly hear him say, “Wake up, it’s Zero-Dark-Thirty”, “What’s the sitrep on school?” and “Straighten up your quarters”. Most of the time it went in one ear and out the other as it would with any child or young adult. Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, when I hear retired military personnel like Admiral William H. McRaven (retired) give the commencement address at the University of Texas and provide leadership tips to recent graduates, it’s usually advice that I find worth listening to.    

Topics: sales culture leadership

Relationships Build Revenue


Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating a group of managers through a four month long program called Coaching New Business. We asked each manager to select two members from their team to work side by side through the How Selling process with a select group of Target Accounts.

Topics: sales culture Sales

Could Something Be More Important to Sales Success than Having the Right Strategy?


It turns out there’s something much more important.

Let’s start by acknowledging the essential nature of strategy to the success of any venture, old or new, commercial or non-profit. Strategy is the grand plan, how your solutions fit with the problems they’re intended to solve, your path to market, your role in the competitive landscape, and the relationship you seek with customers. Important? Heck, yes. We built the name of our company around that word. 

Too many sales organizations don’t have a strategy, don’t believe their strategy, don’t understand their strategy, and/or don’t follow their strategy. Their daily activities are a mish-mash of ill-fitting, often contradictory, tactics, programs, projects, and promotions—Band-Aids to cover the gaping hole where strategy is supposed to be. They create a “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get” environment that wears everyone out and leaves the organization well short of its dream, its potential, even its short-term goals, quotas, and budgets. No wonder Sun-Tzu, writing 3,000 years ago in The Art of War, called tactics without strategy “the noise before defeat.”

Topics: sales strategy sales culture Sales

Five Ways to Create a Sales Culture

sales-cultureWhat is your sales culture? Do you even have one? I frequently hear from sales managers the need for a “sales culture,” but often they don’t really know what their own sales culture is or how to build one.

Topics: Management sales culture Sales

The Only Sure-Fire Way to Turn Talent Into Performance

The_Only_Sure-fire_Way_to_Incease_EngagmentIf you are familiar with The Center for Sales Strategy, then you know that our reason for being is “Turning Talent into Performance.” It’s at the core of everything we do. 

Showing up to work with that clear purpose every day, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the only way you can effectively turn talent into performance is if the talented people you are working with are also engaged in the process.  Otherwise, it’s a losing battle.

Topics: sales culture Talent

Corporate Culture Starts at the Top. But Who’s at the Top?

Corporate_culture_starts_at_the_top.__But_who’s_at_the_topLots is written every year about corporate culture. And yes, every corporation has a culture—they may not have built it purposefully, they may not be proud of it, it may hold the organization back rather than propel it to success—but there’s always a culture and it always impacts performance.

Don’t look to a mission or vision statement hanging on the wall to discern the culture of a given organization. Just watch what the people do. Despite what the pretty prose might say, the actual culture is revealed in how the company’s people interact with each other and with the outside world, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. Say it either way: The culture—values, attitudes, beliefs, priorities, expectations, attitudes, taboos, unwritten rules—is demonstrated by the aggregate behaviors of its people.  Or the people define the culture by how they act.

Topics: sales strategy sales culture Sales

Media Sales Managers’ Biggest Challenge: Finding Excellent Salespeople

hiring_sales_talent_how_to_know_exactly_what_you_are_looking_forOur recently published report The Biggest Challenges of Media Salespeople and Sales Managers turned up a finding that surprised nobody around here!

When media sales managers were offered a list of 14 challenges that might give them sleepless nights… 14 problems that, if even partially solved, would generate a big payoff, they voted more often for Finding great salespeople than for any other item on the list. Indeed, this #1 finisher scored more than half again as many votes as the #2 finisher.  

Topics: Management sales culture Talent Sales