5 Signs that a Toxic Sales Culture is Creeping into Your Organization copy
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5 Signs that a Toxic Sales Culture is Creeping into Your Organization

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

No leader wants their organization to be toxic.

But almost like cracks in a dam that can go undetected for a very long time, such behaviors can seep into your team or organization in spite of your best efforts.

In the wake of the “Great Resignation” where talent became more precious than ever, stakes have been raised for organizations to retain their best employees.

Toxic cultures, however, can repel top performers and erode trust within teams, resulting in a downward spiral of disengagement and dysfunction.

So how can you be on top of your culture and tap into what isn’t easily visible on the surface?

Let’s dive into these 5 signs and you can then decide if some of these are prevalent in your organization.

1.Operational Tunnel Vision

Is your organization too focused on the numbers but not enough on strategy?

A lot of meetings that are devoted to data and details, but not necessarily on making big moves in the market and customer value?

A skewed focus towards operations and numbers often sidetracks innovation and solution design.

2.Inward Preoccupation

Go to a field seller and a sales manager and open their calendars.

How much time are they spending with customers?

For field sellers, if it is less than 80% or for front-line managers, if it is less than 60%, then possibly you have a culture where it’s more internal and incestual rather than external or experiential.

3.Mirrored Leadership

The third piece here is if your leaders are surrounded by mirrors.

Let me elaborate.

Does your leadership team have diversity of thought and perspective?

Are there a lot of ‘yes’ men? Or also individuals who challenge the status quo?

You have to be wary of teams that are just mirroring the leader in charge from a behavioral and cultural perspective.

Productive conflict is a key indicator of innovative progress.

4.Compliance Issues.

The fourth element, and this is quite obvious,

Are you seeing even a slight disregard or compromise for compliance standards?

5.Psychological safety.

Are we hearing what is truly happening or just what we want to hear?

Do people have the courage to speak out and challenge leaders?

Is there a culture where everybody feels heard, where outside-in feedback is delivered and every partner in the ecosystem has a voice?

The underlying question is – is there enough psychological safety?

To conclude,

Benchmark your sales organization on these 5 parameters.

If you have three or more, which are positive, then it’s time to take swift action.

As the leaders at the top, it is our key responsibility to create a strong culture of connection, collaboration and client results.


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Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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