Why a Purpose Driven Culture Wins More Sales – by John Smibert

A John Smibert interview with Ian J. Lowe

Sales teams need to be committed to a clear organisational purpose in order to achieve. Such a commitment is what makes us want to come to work – to deliver the outcomes that excite us. It’s what makes us want to work together to collaboratively achieve.

I asked the guru of sales purpose and intent, Ian J Lowe, why this is important and how we should achieve it.

Firstly Ian emphasised the growing importance of employee trust and engagement. He discussed research that shows a very low engagement across many organisations and how this has a significantly negative impact on productivity and satisfaction in those enterprises.

Ian then outlined the sorts of things we need to do to achieve a high level of engagement. He stated that “when you achieve a highly-engaged environment, with purpose-driven people, you get high trust, high collaboration between teams and individuals in the workplace. The outcomes are going to be positive.”

Read the full discussion below to learn more about how to achieve these postive outcomes via a purpose driven organisation. I recommend it for CEO’s, COO’s HR, Sales leaders, as well as professional salespeople.

Ian is the CEO of Eccoh.co (formally Go-Givers Australia). He is an expert in sales transformation and a specialist in why people sell.


John: Welcome back Strategic Selling viewers and all my other viewers and followers, thank you for being here! I’m delighted today to have Ian Lowe with me again – welcome back, Ian!

Ian: Pleasure to be here, John!

John: Hey, we talked a lot about intent and having the need for the right sort of intent and the right purpose in the way we go about our business. You were telling me offline that there’s a lot of research that proves the need for the right intent, the right purpose, and ensure we’re all engaged properly in our work environment and so on. Can you share some of that research with us?

Ian: Absolutely. I think environmentally we’re dealing with a lot of disruption and change.

John: We sure are, aren’t we? [laughs]

Ian: We’ve talked before about the VUCA world – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguousness – out there, and there’s also some stats that prove that change is needed. The Gallup organisation has been measuring employee engagement for decades.

John: What do you mean by employee engagement?

Ian: How people are turning up for work, what people feel it is their purpose is. When they turn up for work, are they turning up just to follow the tasks and activities of their role, or are they bringing more of themselves to their opportunity?

John: Are they turning up to just get the income, so their purpose in life is something separate to work and the outcomes of work, or are they turning up because they want to be there?

Ian: Absolutely, right? And despite all of that work over many decades, the global stats show that only 13% of the workforce is engaged at work.

John: That’s a dreadful statistic!

Ian: It’s a seriously low number, isn’t it? So there are far many more people disengaged in their work than there are engaged in their work.

John: And by disengaged, I guess we’re saying they’re really not all that happy being at work, they’re just there to earn an income.

Ian: That would be a fair conclusion, wouldn’t it? If you add to that this environment – again, we’re working in this VUCA world – we’ve got profound disengagement. There’s also another research study that was done by Aon Hewitt, looking at the modern workplace, and one of the stats they’ve found was that workplace trust was at an all-time low. So if you add that low trust, low engagement, lots of volatility and change, we’re not really well-equipped to deal with all these issues and produce the results we need to grab businesses.

John: The organisations and individuals that are actually getting engagement and had clear purpose must really have a massive advantage.

Ian: Absolutely. In an organisation where you’ve got low trust, low engagement and you’ve got all this volatility, the organisation that can create an environment where they’ve got high trust, where they’ve got highly-engaged, purpose-driven employees are much more well-equipped to achieve results.

John: And they’ll get a higher retention rate of the employees, the employees will be much more engaged in what the purpose of the organisation is and the value they’re creating for their customers.

Ian: Yes, absolutely. All the metrics, all the measures, whatever way you look at it, when you get that sort of highly-engaged environment, purpose-driven people, you get high trust, high collaboration between teams and individuals in the workplace, the outcomes are going to be positive.

John: Look Ian, this is a fascinating subject. Talk about disruption, if we can get this right in organisations, those organisations can drive a lot of disruption in their own marketplaces in creating value for their customers, and competing against those that haven’t got the engagement, that haven’t got the purpose. So a lot of organisations out there I’m sure are saying, “How do we do this?” Let’s come back and talk about some case studies and talk about some of the methods and processes where we can get this level of engagement, we can generate a culture of purpose in our organisation.

Ian: I’d love to do that, John – that’d be great!

John: Okay, look forward to it – we’ll come back soon!

Ian: Awesome!


John Smibert is a thought leader in B2B sales with a particular interest in personal branding. He is an author and keynote speaker.        

John Smibert has achieved consistent success in a 40 year sales and leadership career in the information technology industry.

He now works with people who are striving to grow high margin revenue by retaining their customers, creating value for customers and strategically acquiring new customers.

He loves working with successful and happy sales teams who are intent on driving positive change for their customers.

Thousands of business leaders and sales professionals have enhanced their business and careers with John’s training, mentoring and coaching. In particular John delights in helping these people succeed by enhancing & leveraging their personal brand.

John has a strong digital brand and has accumulated a large following particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter. He facilitates the Strategic Selling group on LinkedIn and he publishes twice weekly on the Strategic Selling Group and LinkedIn Pulse.




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