The One Thing That Builds Great Sales Cultures

Sales organizations invest time and money into building strong cultures. They read books on why culture eats strategy for lunch, hold team-building events and listen to pundits touting the value of culture. But, I think corporate America is making this too difficult.  Building a great sales culture might be as simple as instilling one daily habit:  the habit of gratitude.

Are you rolling your eyes? Don’t, and instead, pay attention to a study published last year in the Journal of Positive Psychology. Researchers tracked the lives of gratitude in more than 500 adolescents. Not surprisingly, the study revealed the more gratitude they showed, the stronger the relationships with their peers. Their positive dispositions make them more attractive and likeable. Incorporate more gratitude into your sales culture to build better cultures.

Grateful people are likeable people, and likeability is at the core of building trust and relationships, internal and external, which is good for business.

When you demonstrate or receive gratitude, it activates the reward center of the brain releasing the feel-good hormone of dopamine.  And this hormone is the same hormone that causes people to overeat and overdrink. So let’s use dopamine for good.

Hard-charging sales managers, take a timeout. Apply the EQ skill of self-awareness and see if you are acknowledging what your sales teams is doing well. If you are like most Type A personalities (I am speaking to the choir), you probably have a tendency to focus on fixing problems, rather than recognizing what’s working well. Write a personal note, NOT an email, to members of your sales team, and acknowledge them for their efforts, great attitudes and willingness to go the extra mile.

Salespeople, you also can take a timeout. Thank the departments in your organization that make sales happen. Yes, I know, you bring in the business. But other departments often service the sale after the sale, send invoices or ship the product, which retains business. Write a note of gratitude. Instead of going to lunch with a peer, treat a member from another department.  Give your colleagues a dopamine bump today!

I promise you that no one goes home and complains about being overappreciated!

If you want to build great sales cultures, it might be as simple as a daily dose of gratitude.  Make it your new sales key performance metric.

Good Selling!

SalesLeadership can help build your great sales culture when you enroll members of your sales team in our Ei Selling® Boot Camp May 8-9, 2018. Call 303-708-1128 for more info and to enroll today! Ask about our partner investment pricing when you enroll 3 or more people.


Colleen Stanley

Colleen Stanley is the founder and president of SalesLeadership, Inc. She is a monthly columnist for Business Journals across the country, author of ‘Growing Great Sales Teams’ and co-author of ‘Motivational Selling.’ Her new book, 'Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success,' published by Amacom, a division of the American Management Association, is available in bookstores now. Colleen is the creator of Ei Selling®, a unique and powerful sales program that integrates emotional intelligence skills with consultative selling skills. Prior to starting SalesLeadership, Colleen was vice president of sales and marketing for Varsity Spirit Corporation. During her 10 years at Varsity, sales increased from 8M to 90M. Varsity was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 200 fastest growing companies in the United States. When Colleen is not traveling or training, she loves to hike, read and hang with her husband Jim, and friends.

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