Organizations that have a dysfunctional sales culture are prone to negative office politics and harmful drama scenes. Sales team performance declines and talented employees quit. It’s just so obvious that any employee would thrive in a caring, supportive environment, where managers treat employees with trust and respect. The intense combination of social, economic, technological, and political issues are disrupting current strategies and business models. Organizations need to rethink its internal social structure to improve productivity and competitive advantage; organizations no longer can afford lack-luster managers, who are unwilling to view employees as students and pioneers of future growth.   




This sounds very basic and fundamental to any change, but most organizations do not have a well thought-out strategy. In fact, most are blind to the many benefits of a high performance sales culture and a positive social enterprise. Many organizations operate under irrelevant mission/vision statements, outdated policies/procedures, and obsolete business models—stubborn to change, it’s at this time that top leadership are bewildered when goals are not met—they don’t understand the positive link of organizational psychology to financial performance.



Like an old 1960s muscle car transformed into a high performance, showroom beauty, CEOs and business leaders need to rethink and reinvent the organization with a ‘concern for the employee’ focus. The Forth Industrial Revolution (4.0) is having a major impact on work, employees, and employers in ways never experienced before.  The United States GDP Growth Rate is a key metric in economics and an origin to measure almost everything having ties to economic growth and human advancement. A flat or in-decline GDP has a direct effect on human prosperity and lifestyle—as spending slows, it results in lost expansion opportunities in many industries.


GDP Report and News: The US economy advanced an annualized 2.2 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2018, well below a 2.6 percent growth in the previous estimate and 3.4 percent in the previous period. It compares with market expectations of 2.4 percent. Personal consumption expenditure and nonresidential fixed investment rose less than expected and public spending declined (source:



A 'concern for the employee’ leadership style is a focus that involves a new workplace strategy of human development—a program that inspires and motives employees to new productivity levels by removing toxic leadership behaviors and attitudes. The Gallup’s State of the Global Report reveals that a whopping 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged in their job (source: This means that less than 15% of employees are fully engaged in workplace activities. So, how can CEOs and business leaders redirect this metric and improve GDP, from low employee performance to high-motivate, inspired employees?


Solution: Hire and train leaders with a high concern and sincerity for employee learning, human development, and quality-of-work life. For example, the disruptive nature of Industrial 4.0 and Digital Technologies will impact and change an organization’s standard operating practices and procedures. Most often, CEOs and business leaders will execute new technologies (usually software platforms) into the work setting without consulting, training, or counseling (CTC) the workforce.


Understanding the effects of change on employee-attitudes and morale is paramount to high levels of workforce productivity and engagement. Not using the CTC model will result in lackluster efforts and disgruntled employees—learning curves will be long and expensive.


From its fundamental roots, it’s how leaders treat employees that will have a direct effect on employee attitude and behaviors.  When a workforce is empowered with knowledge and tools, they are willing to greet and solve most any problem that arises—they are ambitious to protect the organizations’ reputation and loyal to stomp-out any issue that may put the business at unwanted risk. This focus is a change for many leaders because it shifts the balance of power—and some leaders are unwilling or bull-headed for this to happen; thus, it may be necessary to terminate and start anew.  




Overtime, sales members interact together and form their own group norms that shape their behaviors, which may or may not be productive.  Having a sales team disjointed and disorganized creates high-levels of unwanted and non-value-add costs. So, as the leader, your first action item is to clearly define ‘what it means to you to have a high concern for employees’. This is the setting-the-stage phase in the sales and selling cycle because it will determine the success of your performance, activity-based goals. This is internal to the organization—the sales team culture. How you treat your sales team members (what you encourage and tolerate) will have a direct impact on how your sales team members treat prospects and customers.


Examples questions are:


  • Do I criticize a sales member when h/she does not hit the sales target?

  • Are there clear standards of ethics for how I expect the sales team to perform?

  • Do you ask the group for suggestions concerning how to carry out work assignments?

  • Do you allow sales members to experiment with new ideas on selling and sales management?


These questions are only a few, but they intend to show that your answers will have an effect on downstream results, when sales members are interacting with both internal and external customers. That’s why it’s so important to define the type of culture and type of selling style and merge them together that will produce the desired outcomes. The next business model highlights this theory:   



Leader Encourages

Competitiveness, Goal Achievement, Debate, Quotas, and Top Producer

Leader Encourages

Collaboration, Trust, Respect, Teamwork, Cooperation, Support and Servanthood

Leader Encourages

Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Autonomy, Risk-Taking, learning,

and Innovation

Leader Encourages

Structure, Policies, Set Procedures, Guidelines,

Best Practices, My Way,

and Direct Orders 

What behaviors should employees reflect to customers, both internal and external to the organization?















What are the Desired Outputs or Results?


Goals, Timelines, and Metrics.



When you are in the culture and the customer define-mode, use a combination of attributes and activities from each quadrant. Remember, you want to tailor and customize. Match your leadership style with a selling approach that will produce the desired outcomes from your sales team. The main idea is that you want your team to be one-step ahead of the competition and customer by improving business models, sales behaviors, and workflow processes. Outdated sales practices and policies will attract unwanted constraints that will side-track the organization and the customer.


In addition, it's vital to have a data analytics program to keep track of results, and to identify emerging trends and shifting markets. Data analysis and statistical modeling can collate information to compare and contrast similarities and differences, as to identify and visualize patterns with a purpose to improve managerial decision-making. The investment will meet and exceed your ROI expectations.

Hartwig Consulting

© 2019 by Kurt  H Hartwig