The Q team just returned from three days of sessions and conversations at SiriusDecision’s Summit in Orlando, FL. Besides the typical content-packed agenda of events like this, this year featured an award gala where Sirius clients were recognized for their achievements in driving change and ROI at their companies. The closing of the gala featured the entertainment of Eddie Money and various other stars from the 80s playing favorites like, “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take me Home Tonight”. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t singing along. (Team Q karaoke night is now currently being planned.)
The theme for this year’s event was transforming sales, marketing and product – and wow was that theme evident in the conversations with attendees. No matter to whom we were speaking – regardless of role – they all echoed the need for rapid and drastic change within their organizations. Some felt that level of change could be achieved now and were leading their own revolutions in their organizations. Others felt while change needed to be swift, the inertia of their organizations would slow them down. But the resounding battle cry was a change in our approach to sales execution needs to happen – and happen now.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you lead your own revolutions:
- Failure is not an option, nor is it possible. We all know buyers have changed and the call to action is for sales to do the same. Doing nothing is not an option. Doing nothing is the only way to know you will fail.
- Be a pioneer. By knowing you can’t fail, eliminate the fear of being the first to try something new or have a unique opinion on how to change. Other organizations are struggling just as you are – so don’t necessarily look to how others have tried. If we keep waiting for someone else to do something different, we’ll keep doing things the same.
- Work smarter, not harder. We’ve created a corporate culture that often respects effort over results. If you roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty and just push through it, even if you don’t achieve the result you’re looking for, that will be enough to be considered not failing. We’ve become workhorses. But often that doesn’t work – and it’s definitely not enough. We need to think about solutions differently and be smarter about fixing the problems, not just throw more hours, blood, sweat and tears into it. We all want more time with our families.
Similar to sitting on a cube of ice in a cocktail dress with a light coat and one glove (MJ style) at the Ice Bar after-party, it’s going to be uncomfortable at first. Very few of us are natural pioneers, willing to take on the perceived risk of doing things different.
But we’re at an intersection in the evolution of sales and we must cross it; we have to lead the way for our own organizations. We’ve heard the studies on companies like Kodak, Xerox, and Borders Books who didn’t transform fast enough. If we don’t change our way of doing business with buyers, we risk becoming extinct as others lead the charge ahead of us.