Does a Sales Organization Have to be Fun to be Good?

Fun . . .

If you polled your sales entire sales team or sales organization, would they say they are having fun? The answer better be yes.

As a xVP/CSO of sales, one of your key initiatives each year should be focused on having fun. If you don’t have an initiative that’s focused on making fun, you’re failing your sales team.

If your sales organization is crushing it, but no one is enjoying themselves, if no one is laughing, if few people are having fun, you haven’t built a world class organization. You’ve built a sales factory and nothing more and that’s nothing to be proud of.

I get it, we’ve got calls to make, clients to serve, accounts to manage, quota to get. But, that doesn’t mean it has to suck or be boring. To the converse, more and more experts and study’s suggest that having fun improves creativity, retention, and productivity.

I think studies around the idea of having fun at work to be interesting. It seems pretty simple to me. If you have the expectation that achieving results is non-negotiable AND having fun is also part of the organization, then that organization that will be wildly successful.

I loved this stat from research firm Ipsos of 1000 people;  those who rated their managers sense of humor as “above average” said there was a 90% chance they would stay at their job more than a year. This makes sense to me. Have you ever worked for someone with little to no sense of humor. It’s brutal.

Here’s the deal. If you’re a leader, particularly a sales leader, it’s incumbent upon you to figure out how to create an environment that is fun, a lot of fun. One of your key strategies should be focused on creating an environment where people want to come to work, tell their friends about their work, are proud to be part of the team, get excited when the organization is doing well and makes them laugh.

If you can’t build a fun organization AND get results your leadership talent is in question.

To build an organization that is fun, start by asking yourself, what would make you enjoy coming into work. What besides the actual work, would make you smile, laugh, engage, collaborate, and feel good about the moment you are in and the environment your working in?

Some ideas;

  • Take the first day of the new quarter off and do a “field trip.”


    I’m looking GOOOD!! 🙂

  • Create a “rep” of the week and mess with their profile pic using a iPhone app like Boothphoto
  • Implement gamification for everything from goal achievement, to who says the phrase “I hope to . . . .” the most.
  • Send out a joke, funny cartoon, etc., a week; better yet get everyone using Yammer, Chatter, etc and post it to that.
  • Set up “Fun Friday’s” and let everyone break for happy hour at 3:00, you get the first round
  • Be more creative than these and come up with your own ideas.

The point is to come up with as many ways possible to create a fun place to work and get people wanting to have fun.

Now, for you sales leaders thinking, “I don’t have time for this shit. We’ve got quota to make. It’s not a fraternity.” I’m not talking about NOT getting work done. This isn’t zero sum. This is about you being good enough to get them BOTH done. It’s the idea that says; the more fun people have, the more productive and creative they will be. If you can’t build a fun organization AND get results your leadership talent is in question.

Why would you want to preside over an organization that people loathe to be a part of, where no one is having fun? An organization where the ONLY reason people show up is to make coin is nothing to be a proud of.

Build a sales organization your team is proud to be a part of and you are proud to lead that not only makes quota but makes the ride just as fun. That’s true leadership.

I’m curious to what life is like for this community. Is your sales organization a fun place to work?

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