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The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture

The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture

What is The True Cost of a Toxic Sales Culture?

Employees have to feel comfortable and secure at work, but the pressure of making profits and selling particular numbers each day can result in a toxic sales culture. As the leader or manager, you have influence and power, which means you could be the one creating that toxic environment. Your goal is to motivate your employees, but a tough-love attitude can quickly cross over to abusive. While some people believe that being unforgiving and tough is the best way to manage everyone, the truth is that each person on your team must be managed differently.

 

What enforces the rules with one person may not work with another. You can scream and yell with some people, and that’s the only way to get the point across, but with most people, politeness and compassion work much better. Read on to learn about the characteristics of a toxic sales culture and the affects it can have on an organization.

Poor Sales Leadership

There are many examples of what poor sales leadership looks like. Organizations that lack a structured sales coaching model can lead to unorganized, uninformed, and anxious sales teams that are in constant pressure to meet sales quotas. This often leads to an unhealthy competitive atmosphere.  Toxic sales cultures often start from the top of the chain where sales managers take advantage of their sales teams and treat them as a means to an end instead of providing inspiration and sales coaching.

Related Reading: How Successful Salespeople Grow

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Abusing Power

Power is essential because the employees must know who is in charge. However, it’s very easy to lord your power over the employees; power is intoxicating. You might believe you’re pushing others to do better but be careful with how you make use of the power you have. Abusing power can lead to employees feeling as if you are undercutting them. Learn to build your sales team by investing in your professional development as a sales leader.

Leading by example is a more effective way to gain the trust of your sales professionals instead of relying on fear to motivate them.

Related Article: Sales Leadership 3.0

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Displaced Aggression

Many times, sales managers are under a lot of stressful situations. Sometimes sales managers will project or displace their stress on their sales professionals in an unhealthy manner. Irrationally displaced aggression if left uncheck, can alienate other employees and decimate a sales professional’s workplace experience.

When you allow your aggression and power to control the situation, employees feel undermined. Instead of being goaded into doing better, they tend to become even more lackluster. They might not care about the consequences because they’re already tired of the job and may be looking for work elsewhere. If they’re average or above-average employees, you’re on the brink of losing someone worthwhile because you took advantage and didn’t realize how toxic your behavior was until it was too late. Also, many managers never realize that their behavior was inappropriate.

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Losing Worthwhile Employees

When you allow your aggression and power to control the situation, employees feel undermined. Instead of being goaded into doing better, they tend to become even more lackluster. They might not care about the consequences because they’re already tired of the job and may be looking for work elsewhere. If they’re average or above-average employees, you’re on the brink of losing someone worthwhile because you took advantage and didn’t realize how toxic your behavior was until it was too late. Also, many managers never realize that their behavior was inappropriate.

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Feedback is Not Encouraged

Organizations that lack or discourage feedback can be a sign of a toxic sales culture. Pay attention to how employees and their sales managers handle criticism. Does your sales leadership make an effort to make reasonable changes to the organization based on feedback from employees? Sales leaders should encourage conversations to improve the work culture. Communication on all levels is key to strengthening the workplace of your organization.

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A Toxic Workplace Environment Will Stifle Sales Performance

A healthy workplace environment can either inspire your sales professionals to fulfill their true potential or stifle performance that will leave your organization in a hurricane of excuses, finger-pointing, and skepticism. The true cost of a toxic sales culture goes beyond crippled motivation and lackluster sales performance. A hostile work climate that neglects its employees in an unhealthy manner is detrimental to the overall longevity of your business.

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