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Culture Is King

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Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

You need strategy. You need vision. But without excellent tactical execution, strategy and vision don’t mean a damn thing. And excellent tactical execution doesn’t happen without the right culture.

I’ve already written about my disdain for theoretical or arbitrary programs to drive sales team performance. Yes, every team should have a sales process and set goals and measure pipeline, but it works best to align those organizational goals to a social network. And I don’t mean Facebook.

There is no singularly “correct” or “best” culture for driving a sales team. You can have the cut-throat practicality of a David Mamet play, or the rah-rah cheerleading of the morning stand-up meeting at a call center, or any of a thousand other cultures. But what I’ll tell you is this — if you don’t work to set the cultural tone, you’re going to get a culture, anyhow. And you’re going to get one based on human nature, which is going to feel a lot more like Lord of The Flies than you probably want.

Think about what you want — do you want everyone cheering everyone else on or do you want friendly competition? Do you want rivalries or everyone working as a team? By the way, there aren’t right or wrong answers to those questions either. For different products, different sales cycles, and different organisations, each answer can be equally “correct”. But if you don’t set aside some time to think about what you want, and then preach to it, hire to it, and reward to it, you’re just not going to get it.

Culture Is King. And you’re the god of culture in your organization. Make it what you need it to be.