Company culture. It’s a term often used to describe the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees will work. Yet, there’s another type of culture in an organization—the sales culture. By definition, a sales culture speaks to the attitudes, values and habits that characterize your sales team.

Troy Harrison, sales navigator, author and speaker at The PPAI Expo 2018 in Las Vegas this week, describes a sales culture as “a philosophy that permeates the company, from the corner office to the loading dock, that says, essentially, ‘We are a sales organization, and everything else we are able to do is a product of our ability to sell our products or services to our customers.'”

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Harrison’s tips for creating a successful sales culture.

1. Set the mission: First, Harrison suggests writing (or in some cases, rewriting) your company mission to be sales focused. It could be as simple as this: “We are a sales organization, and we grow profitably by acquiring new customers, developing current customers to greater profitability and retaining profitable business.”

2. Communicate: Next, he says, be sure to communicate this message to your employees and do it consistently. This is where a lot of companies fail, because the communication happens like this: The CEO will have a staff meeting where the ‘new mission’ is communicated forcefully to key executives and then it’s passed along downstream, leaving room for inconsistent delivery of the message. Harrison says that in creating a sales culture, there is no employee whose job is so small or insignificant that he or she shouldn’t hear this message from the CEO.

3. Align Goals: Align all r departments and goals so they can all be achieved together. For instance, instead of budgeting in dollar terms, budget in percentages from the top line. This way, when departments need more resources for equipment and personnel, they know how to get it—help grow the company. Even with the best goal setting, however, you’re going to see some internal conflict, he says.

4. Remove Internal Conflict: Good sales forces, by their nature, create internal conflict. This isn’t because salespeople are bad people, obnoxious or difficult to work with, but because good salespeople push the frontiers. Sales is all about growth, so good sales forces are always creating extra work and pressure for the other departments which must then function at a higher level to support the sales growth created.

As a business owner, it’s your job to mediate and handle these conflicts and push-backs. It’s a delicate issue because no department or department manager, wants to feel subordinate or less important than sales. Within a true sales culture, however, the other departments are exactly that-subordinate to sales. When conflicts arise, remember that good sales cultures overcome this problem by empowering managers who are sales advocates, and by removing internal obstacles.

5. Have a High-Performance Sales Force: Harrison says that you have the right, and the responsibility, to demand excellence from your salespeople once you have molded the culture of the company around them. A key role is a strong sales manager who actively works to strengthen and enhance the abilities of salespeople. Your sales manager should be not only a good administrator, reporter and forecaster, but also a good coach and developer of people. This person should be willing to advocate for the needs of the sales force while simultaneously demanding the highest effort and achievement from them. The sales manager should have performance metrics in place to assess both quantity and quality of sales activity, and be equipped to hold salespeople accountable for those metrics and for the results. Struggling personnel must be either coached or changed; top performers should be rewarded and coached to even higher levels.

Outline the steps it will take for your company to become sales focused and reap the profitable rewards.

Source: Troy Harrison is “The Sales Navigator.” One of the nation’s thought leaders in the world of sales and selling, Harrison’s work is based on more than 20 years of excelling as an award-winning sales rep, a champion sales manager, and an in-demand speaker, trainer and consultant working from coast to coast.