How to Create a Winning Sales Culture

By Greta Schulz

Are your company’s sales dysfunctional? Do your other department heads feel that the sales department is a bunch of know-it-all backslappers who lunch and play golf all day? If so, your company may be sales dysfunctional.

When I work with organizations that hire me because they have “sales issues,” after I dig a little deeper, it’s more than what is on the surface. Revenue growth often is not a result of one salesperson or even several persons. It typically is something directly related to the leadership of the organization.

If you want to know if your organization is guilty, ask these questions:

• Do you have and cultivate a sales culture? Are sales celebrated? More important, are the supporters of the sale—customer service, production, accounting, etc.—also congratulated for their input into every sales success?
Salespeople are never alone in their success.
Do they congratulate others? Does management encourage them to do so?

• Are you hiring A-players? Often, organizations hire when they perceive a need and are under pressure to replace someone who has left. Hiring under duress often results in hiring someone who’s less than stellar.

• Is every aspect of your organization client-focused? When the phone is answered, does the receptionist do whatever possible to give a great experience to that client? Does he or she try to help? If not, does he or she pass the information to someone who might be able to help by telling the client’s story before the call is transferred? A client-centric organization will begin the culture of sales and create a positive outcome for internal employees and clients.

• Does each person take personal responsibility for his or her part, no matter where in the organization they work? Do you hear excuses for things that go wrong, or do workers truly take responsibility for every issue—even if it wasn’t created by them? Wanting the organization to do well should be something that compels each employee to whatever it takes to accomplish that.

If you have said “no” to any of these questions, you need to make some significant changes. You must start by assessing things such as leadership, forecasting, goal-setting and commitment. That’s how you create a winning culture.♦

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to

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