Norms, Values, and Work Styles—The Elements of a Sales Force Culture

Every sales force has a personality—its culture. The culture can be thought of as the genes of the sales organization. It is the unwritten rules that guide the behavior of the firm's salespeople and sales managers as they encounter familiar or new situations. The culture establishes a baseline for the firm's decision making and for its acceptable activity.

Cultures are defined in terms of appropriate choices. Salespeople face numerous choices every day. Often the choices lead to opposite behaviors and activities, which can create a tension. Salespeople look to their culture to suggest the appropriate choice. Several common choices are presented in Figure 15-1. In each case, ...

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