With the ease of summer coming to an end, it’s time for us all to take a deep breath and welcome what’s coming: change.
In today’s evolving business environment, change happens more quickly than ever. And given the increasing complexity of the technology landscape and escalating competition, companies simply can’t afford to be stymied by each change they encounter – to survive, they must identify a way to harness changes and use them for the good of their bottom line.
Let’s start by examining the key forces dominating the business atmosphere – changes that impact the strategy and behavior of your sales team every day:
- It’s complicated: Companies today operate in a knowledge economy, regardless of the particular products and services they offer. For the sales organization, this means that sales teams must be ready to adapt how you’re selling, how you’re positioning the products and company, and how to respond to market force changes.
- We’re in this together: Leaders at all levels of the organization want to know that the organization they’re working with will support them at a strategic level, and make a measurable, positive impact on their bottom line. For sales, this means finding your way into the hearts and minds of your customers, understanding how the decisions they make are governed by the larger trends in their industry.
- Dollars must make sense: Buyers today are buying differently, engaging more deliberately and committing more slowly. This new reality places even greater pressure on sales. Not only must you prove your potential worth to customers, you must also break through the fixation on cost and change the conversation to one centered on value.
These changes are disruptive, and meeting them in order to succeed in today’s environment is a tall order. It means changing, in turn, the way we do business. It means changing to meet change:
- Get agile: As salespeople and buyers alike are overloaded with information on a consistent basis, making sense of the noise can only work to perfect ones selling techniques and purchase decisions. In other words, in order for your sales reps to avoid engaging in a game of tug of war with their customers, they must adopt nimble and agile sales enablement strategies.
- Engage fully: The change required to align sales with the evolving business landscape must involve the entire sales organization. Regardless of how your organization ultimately tackles these challenges with changes in the way you engage, responding to a dramatic shift will require the attention of everyone.
- Shift behavior: The change out there requires a broad, think-big kind of response from sales. You must be seen as offering genuine value, helping customers simplify complexity and deliver better outcomes. This requires not just a shift in mindset among your sales team, but a practical shift in everyone’s behavior, from the top down.
- Transfer knowledge: A shift in behavior requires an increase in the knowledge base among sales professionals. Creating the ability to hold those conversations means an organizational shift. You must define and agree on a shared vision for a given prospect, and then arm your salespeople with the tools they need to fulfill their knowledge imperative.
- Avoid ‘panic-button’ investments: Salespeople are, ultimately, only human. They rush to overcome pressures by quickly identifying a technology, training or other solution, often in the process making ‘panic button’ investments that fail to equip their sales force to respond to change. No matter how good a company’s intentions, if a solution doesn’t offer real value, it doesn’t matter how hard you work to elicit buy-in.
Change is Hard
Change is inevitable. But it doesn’t need to be intimidating. If you change the way you work and implement effective sales enablement strategies, it’s possible to make change work for you – and ultimately, your organization.
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Our “Putting Change to Work” Guide takes a deeper look at the forces of change challenging companies in every sector, how sales organizations are impacted – and how they can respond in a way that lets change work for, and not against, their organization.