10 Steps to Create More of a Sales Culture

I spoke to a very lively group of 130 CEO’s in Cincinnati today and the question about creating more of a sales culture came up.  There are several steps to accomplishing this:

1. You must realize that the very people you would like to change chose to do what they currently do and probably won’t choose to do what you would like them to do – sell.

2. Only a small percentage of those people are suitable for taking on any part of a sales or business development role.

3. You must be able to identify that small percentage of people.  Using an appropriate Objective Management Group Assessment Tool will help.

4. You must clearly communicate your desire to create more of a sales culture to the people that you’d like to be more sales aware.  Explain.  Perhaps you want branch managers at a bank to go out and find local business customers, order takers to become proactive by making outgoing calls, or professionals to bring new clients into your firm.  In any of these cases, the biggest mistake is that management usually fails to communicate this expectation to the very people they would like to change.

5. Someone who understands what needs to be accomplished as well as how to accomplish it must be in charge of this initiative.

6. You must provide the chosen people with the training they’ll need to succeed in this strange new world of selling and business development.  The assessment tool from item 3 will help you with this step too.

7. You must clearly define what it is they should do and how often they should do it.

8. You must get buy-in from the people that will participate.

9. You must be clear as to how their success will be measured.

10. The person from item 5 above must hold the participants accountable to doing what they agreed to do in the context of item 9 above.