How to create a winning culture | Internal sales blog


How to create a winning culture

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Find out how you can create a winning culture in your organization with Tom Whalen, McKesson's Director of Internal Sales.

In this article:

  1. introduction
  2. Who is Tom Whalen?
  3. The basics to create a winning culture
  4. The value of employee surveys
  5. Building a culture of success: preaching by example
  6. Collaborate with members of the team to develop the culture
  7. Lead as a coach and have the team spirit
  8. Recognition and reward systems
  9. The fight of the sales leaders

What makes a winning culture

Definition of the winning culture: Term used to describe a corporate culture where there is mutual trust between the team leader and the members. This positive culture encourages open communication, teamwork and can be a source of motivation for employees because they feel part of the team.


A positive culture in the workplace is imperative to win. Some leaders see the work culture as something sweet and important.

Unfortunately, they will have to learn how crucial it is.

Great leaders recognize the value of their people and give it priority.

The problem is that most leaders do not know the better way to create a winning culture within their team. That's why they are fighting to create a work environment where people want to To be one of them.

We invited Tom Whalen to tell us how he creates and promotes a winning culture within his sales team. He is the Director of Long Term Care for Internal Sales at McKesson.

Read on to find out what practices work to create your own winning team culture.

Who is Tom Whalen?

Tom has been with McKesson for a decade and heads the internal sales team of the Extended Care Group. He works with different teams covering long term care.

This includes pharmacies, skilled nursing homes and sales representatives.

Their team of 60 sales representatives sell everything from Q-tips to MRI machines. What is amazing is that they started with just four members and have now grown exponentially.

When asked what had fascinated him about business culture, Tom replied that it all started when he coached a high school sports team. He finds that the daily "win or lose" battle is what the sales and sports teams have in common.

As in a sports team, he also trains his sales representatives so that they can do their job well.

When they make mistakes, they are responsible for them, but he is careful to help them.

Tom believes in the adage: "You do not build the business, you build the people and they build your business." they will make an extra effort for you. "

This conviction is the cornerstone of the winning culture that Tom has built and encouraged within his team. As a result, their business has grown enormously over the years.

The basics to create a winning culture

Cheerful business man celebrating | How to create a winning culture

Celebrating a winning culture in the workplace

We asked Tom about the essential elements of creating and maintaining a winning culture. His answer was simple and profound. He said that everything was about to be authentic and honest with your team and listening to their opinions.

You must establish mutual trust between you and the members of your team. You can not buy their trust – you have to to win and take care of it.

Tom learned that team members would not trust their leaders if they did not know them. That's why he recommends leaders to make an effort to spend time and chat with their team.

The value of employee surveys

Tom admits that when you build and resize an organization, it can be difficult to know every member of the team.

As a compromise, they perform a annual survey of employees within their organization. Their 60-member team obtained 84% of the employee opinion survey results, indicating that they are running well in managing their team.

Tom thinks that employee surveys are very valuable. The anonymity of employee surveys encourages members of the team to be honest in their responses.

Their comments will allow management to know what they think about their work, their environment and their culture. Acting on the problems management needs to solve will help them better manage their teams.

Building a culture of success: preaching by example

One of the ways to create a winning culture is to give the example. We asked Tom how they made this principle more concrete and effective at McKesson.

He shared that what he found really worked well, that's for a leader set up a workspace among the members of the team. It's just working alongside your team to let them know you're real.

This helps the leader avoid creating a distant and unapproachable mood. As Tom's experience shows, this is common among the leaders of a large company.

By advocating a team culture in this way, everyone has the feeling that the leader is part of the team.

Leaders who immerse themselves regularly in the tasks and environment of their team can lead well. That's because they know what's going on throughout the process and that they understand their team better.

RELATED: How to create a cultural transformation for your internal sales team

Collaborate with members of the team to develop the culture

Another practice that Tom shared with us is collaborate with members of the team build a culture. As a leader, you can do it in the simplest way.

Take a sheet of Tom's book and take the time to talk regularly to individual members of your team. It does not just mean planning one-on-one meetings with them.

Instead, make an effort to approach them and talk to them.

Tom stated that he regularly asked questions to people on his team of representatives, such as:

  • How is it going?
  • What can I do for you?
  • How can I be better?

Some may be too shy to engage in this type of conversation with their sales manager, but you will find that some are willing to share their opinions.

As a leader, you need to really care about what they have to say, listen to them, and talk about what's called for concrete action.

It is a great feat to gain the trust of your team in a way that makes it comfortable to share your thoughts with you.

If you are a leader, do not hesitate to ask the opinion of your team. Make sure to include everyone in the conversation, especially the quieter ones.

You never know how much you can help each other until you communicate openly.

Lead as a coach and have the team spirit

Four businesswoman interacting | How to create a winning culture

Build a winning team culture

Tom shared with us that he's always considered more like a coach that & # 39; a director. Faithful to that, he does not do any nonsense to his team when they have bad days.

Instead, he asks them what's going on and helps them understand how to change things and do better.

If you, as an executive, establish a relationship with your team based on trust, your employees will respond to this approach.

They know that you will be there for them when they have problems. If they relax, you can show them their love and be direct with them so that you can solve the problem.

Each chef has a different style when it comes to team interaction. Tom likes to be both friendly and professional.

He makes an effort to personally know his team, but he still maintains a line of demarcation between them to stay professional.

To balance things, Tom takes the lead of his people. He manages his relationships with them in a way that does not make them feel uncomfortable.

In terms of the sector and KPIs, there is no compromise.

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Recognition and reward systems

Addressing the subject of recognition and reward systems, Tom said they like to try different tactics. His long career in internal sales made him understand that "sellers are a different race".

You must recognize their performance. It does not mean a reward for every job well done, but at least acknowledge their efforts and reward their achievements.

There are many ways to reward your team. You can:

  • Reward them financially
  • Give them rewards
  • Recognize them in front of the whole team

Tom advised managers to have a Manageable rewards system. When you have too many at the same time, your employees do not know what to focus on.

Tom strongly recommends recognizing and rewarding your sales team in different ways. This practice creates a winning culture.

How to create a winning culture

If you want to create a winning culture within your sales team, remember that you can not Obligate he. As a leader, all you can do is guide your team to this type of culture at your workplace.

They must trust you, and they must also believe in this defense. It's a very big part, says Tom.

Then, once you start, you have to encourage it.

Leaders can get a lot more from their people when they believe they are part of a winning culture. This is largely due to the leader's genuine desire to create a positive culture.

Your employees need to know and feel that you really love them, and you can not manufacture that.

The fight of the sales leaders

Young business woman walking | How to create a winning culture

As I said to Tom, the struggle of some business leaders is to find a balance between their care and their people and their care for Numbers. Sometimes it's hard to worry your team when you're under such pressure to provide the numbers.

Tom adds, "If I start worrying about the numbers, there is a problem." You care about the person, so you want her to do better.

It means pushing them to provide a great job.

If you would like to contact Tom and discuss further the creation of a winning culture, you can send him a direct message on LinkedIn. He will be happy to answer your questions and help you.

Creating and maintaining a winning culture is not an easy task, but it pays off. Establishing and promoting this type of positive culture in the workplace will benefit everyone in the long run.

Make an effort to apply the practices you have learned and enjoy the benefits of a winning culture at work!

How can you establish and maintain a winning culture within your team? Share your plans with us in the comments section below.

Next step: How to pay your sales development representatives

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

– LinkedIn by Tom
– Tom's article on culture
– Subscribe to Gabe's content

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