Posts Tagged ‘watercooler gossip’

The US vs THEM SMB Sales Mindset

For mid-size to small businesses (SMB), there is a very real US (those not in sales) vs THEM (the salespeople) sales mindset.  Since in many instances, the salespeople are the greater salary earners, there is a resentment by some of the non-sales employees.



This resentment happens because executive leadership allows it. Instead of creating a collaborative workplace culture where everyone shares the same vision and values (business ethics), executive leadership fails to actually take the necessary actions to ensure everyone is united.  Their inactivity creates a void that is filled with distrust and envy.

Having word in a SMB, I experienced this US vs THEM sales mindset. Rush or emergency sales orders would come in near closing and the warehouse manager would decide these sales orders could wait until morning or the salesperson of record could make the delivery.  He could care less if the salesperson was two (2) hours away.  What happened in many instances is I would take the sales order to the customer on my way home.

Then there was the watercooler gossip about this salesperson earning so much or that salesperson earning so much.  Of course all this watercooler gossip was speculation, but that still did not stop the gossip. Even the inside salespeople would sometimes engage in this gossip because they had salary resentment.

Those who resented and gossiped did not realize or understand our salespeople were 100% commissioned.  The salespeople were responsible for all their own marketing costs including entertainment to donations for golf outings.

Now working as a small business coach, I continue to observe the US vs THEM sales mindset within the larger context of workplace culture.  What is so unfortunate is the US do not understand how the THEM as well as the SMB makes and keeps money.

Workplace culture is very much like a picture puzzle. Each piece is shaped by the beliefs, emotions and experiences of everyone present as well as those no longer present.  The US vs THEM sales mindset can be one or more than one pieces of the overall workplace culture puzzle.

If you are a SMB owner or sales manager, it is your leadership responsibility to eliminate the US vs THEM sales mindset.  By taking this proactive action, you will not only make the overall workplace culture better, you will increase sales as well as profitability.

Take this affordable workplace culture assessment to determine where there are gaps draining your productivity and profitability.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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