|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…..
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.
But this is not about beer or beer -brewing; it’s about observations on this industry coming from a wine drinker.
Beer is not my first choice when it comes to an adult beverage, but I have become to appreciate it more (especially with food pairings) over the years. What I have really become to appreciate is how generous and sharing beer-brewers are in just about everything they do, whether it’s sharing ingredients, sharing best practices, or just simply sharing.
SHARING IS CARING
That’s a phrase we teach our children but we hardly every apply it in the business world. In the beer brewing world there is only healthy competition. Beer brewers get excited about good beer, whether they have brewed it, or not. They visit each other’s facilities, where they get best business practices tips and observe how things could be done differently. They are fascinated by each other’s achievements and they have a unique sense of comradery. When my son and another Beer Brew Master at NEBCO broke the news to the owner about their wish to open up their own brewery, the response from Rob was pride, support and encouragement.
A couple of years ago, when Sebastian went to Chicago by car, he packed the trunk with NEBCO beer and stopped at local breweries on the way from Connecticut to Chicago to do a beer swap. That’s what beer brewers do.
NO NEED FOR SECRECY
There is none of the secrecy that you see in other industries, none of the envy or jealousy that one sees in some verticals I can think of.
There might be many reasons why there is this sense of broader community. First off, the micro beer-brewing industry is rather young and most of the people involved are Millennials. Maybe that has something to do with it.
Beer-brewing is also tough, there is a lot of hard labor involved and maybe that’s why the people involved have a greater appreciation for the efforts.
There is also a lot of passion that I can see whenever you talk to a beer-brewer, or beer enthusiasts for that matter.
Related: Why We Need a Common Sales Language
WITH CONFIDENCE COMES TRANSPARENCY
But, then there is the confidence that comes from knowing that you have a good product. Beer brewers understand that people like different things and it really comes down to a matter of taste and preference. There are some people who love their IPA’s, while others swear that a Belgium style beer is the best. And there are those who are Bud Light fans (no judgment!)
I, myself have always been very open about my process to sales training, never felt that I had the silver bullet and I am certainly excited when other people do well. A sentiment that I don’t experience often when interacting with other people in my industry.
A client once told me “ There is nothing new about your process, but the way you execute is unique and that makes it powerful”. I wholeheartedly agreed.
Sales training is sales training and beer is beer. If you are confident that your product is good and that some people (not all) will like it, why not share?
Maybe, we should all be more like beer-brewers?!