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Those of us who have been in sales and/or leadership positions have undoubtedly been involved in discussions that sound something like this: "If sales would pick it up, we would be fine" or "What is sales doing"? In my experience, this adversarial approach has done nothing more than create (or expand) division within an organization as well as between the salespeople in the field (the worker bees) and management. You might be thinking, “It’s their job”. True. However, let’s explore this for a moment.

Regardless of what your organization does, the simple fact is that you sell (yes, we are all in sales) something to someone. Therein lies the issue. What is it you sell? To who? Why and how?

I’ve experienced best in class organizations that held sales in the highest regard, yet the entire organization was always in sync with one another (sales, engineering, business management, etc.). Ongoing training (not just sales), strong leadership, opportunities for personal growth, vision, strategy, customer intimacy were among the norms practiced daily – diversity.

Conversely, I have experienced organizations that were not so strong and what did they have in common? Adversity. Here are common issues prevalent in such organizations: • No vision. • Talk about change but don’t do anything (fear). • Weak leadership. • Blame game – sales isn’t doing the job, what’s the plan? NOTE: The issue isn’t sales or the people, it is internal culture. • The competition is getting the business. • No more than 5 customers (OK, MAYBE 10) are the lifeline of the company and there is no effort to expand. • No internal continuity.

You might be shaking your head and thinking, “Yup, sounds familiar”. So step back for a moment and consider your situation. Does your culture embrace diversity or adversity?

Remember, there’s no “I” in TEAM and organizations that work together and diversify (internally and externally), stay together and become leaders in their served markets.

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