The Sales Leader's Toughest Challenge - Action Selling ®

The Sales Leader’s Toughest Challenge

November 2019 – Issue 186

eCoach Newsletter


Dear Sales Executive:
What would you say is the toughest challenge facing any sales leader? For my money, it is this: Your biggest challenge is to create a great sales culture in your organization.

Notice that I didn’t just say, “…in your sales organization.” If you want the full benefits of a great sales culture—and those benefits are game-changing—then every customer-contact person in your company should be on the same page with your sales force. Culturally speaking, that is.

What am I talking about? Please read on.

If you have a question about how (or why) to build a great sales culture, click on “Ask The eCoach“.

We are committed to your professional success.

Duane Sparks Author of Action Selling ®

The Sales Leader’s Toughest Challenge

Basically, “culture” refers to the way that a group of people customarily think, talk, and behave. When it comes to sales, your culture is the sum total of the way your people think about the sales process, how they communicate about the sales process, and the actions they take during the execution of the sales process.

When I say that sales culture is about the way “your people” think, act, and communicate about the sales process, I don’t just mean your salespeople. I mean every customer-facing person in your company.

That demands some explanation, starting with the term “sales process.” Inside the Action Selling ® world, the term can refer to two different functions, both of them critical.

The Sales Call Process is the set of sequential actions salespeople use to manage interactions with customers. For that, we use the 9-Act Action Selling ® system.

The Sales Cycle Process refers to the progressive Milestones and associated customer Commitments that must be reached on the path to a sale. Our training helps you identify what your particular milestones are.

In Action Selling ®, the Sales Call Process is used to gain commitment from the customer to move to the next milestone in the Sales Cycle Process. Together, they define your sales process.

In a strong sales culture, everyone who comes into contact with a customer thinks, communicates, and acts in a way that optimizes and reinforces every act of the Sales Call Process at every milestone of the Sales Cycle Process.

If you are the sales leader, you are 100% responsible for the sales culture of your company. It is your job to create it. Nothing you do is more important. This is your toughest challenge.

As the sales leader, you are 100% responsible for the sales culture of your company.

Why is a strong sales culture so critical? A strong sales culture is a competitive advantage for a company. It builds a level of confidence that affects everyone involved in the sales process. It encourages positive attitudes, shared values, and common goals. It allows everyone to agree upon best practices and to understand why those practices are the best. Sales culture spills over into the field, impacting prospects and customers. For these reasons, a positive sales culture can supercharge a company. A negative sales culture can kill it.

Graphically, the advantages of a strong sales culture can be summarized like this:
The best sales cultures have a common language and common processes that allow every customer-facing employee to engage the customer in a conversation that enables them to identify the customer’s needs, recommend solutions, and gain commitments. When this communication process is consistently practiced, sales goals are achieved, customers become genuinely loyal, and an unbeatable sales culture grows.

Now, that is a challenge worth meeting.

Learn more about how and why to focus your efforts on building a great sales culture. See our free white paper, Want a Better Sales Culture?
Action Selling ® in Action

When you want your entire organization to think, talk, and behave using a uniform and effective sales process, it takes an effective training solution to get the job done. Christine Corbine, director of sales at Quiktron Inc., a supplier of cable-connectivity equipment headquartered in Albia, Iowa, wanted every customer-contact employee to use a common language when communicating with customers and with each other.

“As the sales leader, I realized we faced lots of challenges that were caused by the lack of an effective sales culture in our company,” says Corbine. “For instance, we are the experts in our field of cable-connectivity solutions for telecom and datacom. Resellers or end-users would commonly call us for our expertise and then buy from a lower-priced competitor. That’s frustrating when you don’t know how to remedy the situation.”

Corbine turned to The Sales Board and its suite of three interrelated training programs—Action Selling ®, Action Selling ® Leadership, and Action Selling ® CRP (Customer Relationship Professional). Those programs, she says, “gave us a sound solution to this problem and a myriad of others we were facing. It’s pretty amazing to see training impact the entire culture of a company.”

For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling ® at (800) 232-3485.

For a more in-depth look at the sales leader’s toughest challenge, download our free white paper, Want a Better Sales Culture?