By William Seidman I’ve been working with a company that’s been trying to change the culture of its sales force by using a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Have you ever seen a CRM tool that could change a culture? I haven’t. But many people are far more comfortable talking about tools than about people, forgetting that culture is all about people and nuance. CRM tools are about compliance more than purpose, and they don’t take nuance into consideration at all. This is my fantasy conversation with the VP of sales for this company around this topic: I ask him how long he has been in sales. He answers, “A long time.” I ask him how many tools he has used during that time? His answer: “Many.” I ask him how many times was a tool the difference between winning and losing a deal? He answers, “Never.” I ask him if he could have won deals without any tools? “Of course, I did it all of the time.” I ask him what really makes someone a good sales person and he responds, “Attitude.” Now, how likely am I to be correct about his answers? Very likely as we have had this discussion with many senior sales people who almost always say the same thing:  If you want to really improve performance of sales, improve attitude. And behind great attitude is a sense of purpose. To improve sales, ensure that a sense of purpose is there.]]>

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