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 schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to greta@schulzbusiness.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.