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Sales Culture: Always get buy-in from your CEO

Posted on: September 30th, 2018 by Monika No Comments
Sales Culture should reflect the overall company culture

Culture is mostly driven by senior management and the sales culture is no different. Too often the sales culture is not in sync with the organizational culture and CEOs are rather removed from the sales process. This leads to…..

…mismanaged expectations

If your sales process is designed to support a consultative sales process where your sales cycle is 3-6 months long and your CEO expects immediate results, it will cause friction. Your CEO will want answers as to why revenue is not coming in, why goals are not achieved and that’s usually where the panic starts. That’s why it is much easier…

…to get buy-in from your CEO

Why? So there is no surprises. While I believe that CEOs should not meddle with the sales process once it is established, I also think that the process needs to be developed, agreed upon and fine tuned with the CEO in the room. It’s a cultural shift that will build a trusting environment where everybody involved in sales knows the parameters and expectations. That leads to the question as to…

…who should be involved in the sales process development?

Ideally, every department. If product development cannot keep up with requirements, it will have an impact on the sales process.

If marketing is not able to deliver leads in the way sales expects them, it will influence success.

Once all the constituents are present when establishing the sales process, it will be a lot easier to meet goals and to have a successful outcome. This is not something that happens in many organizations and that’s….

…why a cultural shift necessary

When we think about the sales process, we think about sales people, database management, phone calls, etc. We don’t think about the actual sales culture.

In many companies the sales department is viewed in a rather negative way. “Sales people are the ones who make the most money, but they don’t have a lot if integrity” is something that I hear a lot.

Sales people don’t pay attention and they always over-promise” is another one.

On the contrary, sales people often complain about delayed deliverables due to product issues. And even more often I hear sales complain about proper and effective marketing support.

Once everybody is involved in developing the sales process and every department takes responsibility for delivering results and keeping deadlines, there will be less surprises.

Why is it important for the CEO to be involved ?

Because there is an environment of trust that needs to be established. If your CEO doesn’t support the company culture, the shift will not happen. Your CEO is the person who drives the car. He relies on other people to provide the map. If his team members don’t communicate their direction to the CEO, he will probably drive into a wall. CEOs are visionaries, they are not the ones involved in the details, but when it comes to culture, your CEO should be at the table.


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