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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Steps in Creating a Winning Sales Culture


There have been pages written, executive leadership training given and coaches hired all to help sales leaders build winning cultures. And yet the ability to build such a culture confounds many because it isn’t easy.

Peter F. Drucker, author of “The Effective Leader” writes, “Your foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then to help orchestrate the energy of those around you.”

View this through the lens of a conductor whose job it is to harness the diverse talents of orchestra members and their instruments and transform the “many” into one beautiful, harmonious sound of music.

True leaders must understand that they are in the business of coalescing human energy. They must have the ability to build a culture where the team realizes the group goal while utilizing their individual talents to get there. Much like the orchestra they are able to achieve things they would not or could not do alone.

An article that I read recently by Brent Gleeson cited 5 critical steps in creating a winning culture, which I want to share with you here.

1. Define Values

  • The company core values must be clearly understood and the expectation that they be adhered to is non-negotiable.
  • The sales leader must espouse them and lead by example.
  • The sales leader must always create a clear path forward.

2. Team Members

  • Your sales team is an exclusive club, not of employees, but of members where a common goal is shared.
  • Each member understands how their individual talents contribute to the overall success.
  • Each member is focused on winning and achieving the goal and they are therefore aligned.

3. Trust

  • Trust is created in an environment when the leader defines the culture with actions that display optimism, positivity and authenticity.
  • Trust is felt between members where there is both honesty and competency and they “have each other’s back.”
  • Trust is felt when all members are pulling their weight.

4. Goal Setting

  • You can’t cross the finish line unless you know where it is.
  • Set both attainable and stretch goals for the team and individuals.
  • Let both know where they are in relation to the goal on a regular basis.
  • Celebrate wins both small and big to keep the team engaged.
  • Both rewards and recognition are powerful motivators.
  • Encourage people to leave their comfort zones. 

5. Accountability

  • Every member should be held accountable.
  • Performance should be measured on a regular basis.
  • Feedback should be ongoing.
  • All members including the leader should “do what they said they would do."

The bottom line is that only the team has the ability to build a winning culture or wallow in a weak one.

A winning team has the responsibility to hold each other accountable. This is the result of having the right people in the right place and allowing them to “soar with their strengths.” And this includes the sales leader.

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Topics: Sales