Two Iconic Companies Build Better Sales Culture on their World-Class Strengths | Sales Training , Strategy and Sales Management Training Programs | Fusion Learning Inc
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Two Iconic Companies Build Better Sales Culture on their World-Class Strengths

By David Weatherston

A strong corporate culture is an incalculable asset, a powerful binding force that tells people what to value and how to act, no matter what situations they find themselves in. A strong corporate culture can also be a roadblock to change if change is presented the wrong way.

Molson, Canada's oldest brewer, had a sales culture over 220 years deep. Molson representatives courted bar owners, hoteliers and restauranteurs – about 25% of the national market – with a mix of friendship, fair dealing and personal style. But the rise of data-driven national chains has raised the stakes on every sales call to playoff levels, with as much as one per cent of national consumption riding on a single presentation. Could the Molson Team be ready to shoot with the necessary precision, while still playing with the flair and fun that beer represents? Snap the cap on this tale to read how they did it.

Canadian Tire Financial Services is younger than Molson, but its culture is as powerful an internal force. CTFS people took pride in delivering a level of service to their “Customers For Life” that earned them an industry ranking unexcelled in North America, rarely equalled in the world. But when CTFS decided its future success depended on selling to those same Customers, shifting from service to sales meant changing employees' perception of sales from “making an offer” to “meeting a need”. But how to make that change?… and how to uncover Customer needs. If change is your mandate, you'll appr eciate the way that they harnessed their own culture to change course.

With Fusion Learning’s help, both companies have turned their existing cultures into foundations and springboards rather than roadblocks.

Sales, Operations, and HR Executives from Molson and CTFS presented their sales success stories at a Fusion Executive Briefing (see side panel). Attendees found their “Lessons Learned” particularly valuable:


  • Initiative must be clearly linked and aligned to Business Strategy.
  • Sales process (Molson Way to Sell) must be integrated and supported by a Systematic Coaching Process (Molson Way to Manage).
  • Strong collaboration is required between internal resources and external partner to: articulate learning architecture; customize design; and ensure training delivery is real and practical.
  • Sponsorship and endorsement of Senior Sales Leaders (ie. must walk the talk and model the behaviour).
  • Sales Managers as “The Molson Way” experts – must be positioned, developed, and supported accordingly.
  • No silver bullet (yes, Coors Light plug!) – no quick fixes, long term commitment is key!


  • Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Attach discipline to the learning.
  • Demonstrate belief in your people and their ability to succeed.
  • Focus your Team on developing one skill at a time.
  • Promote “Progress vs. Perfection.”


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