Salesforce: 3 Productive Sales Execution Practices for Uncertain Times
OREANDA-NEWS. November 26, 2015. The pace of change is quickening, and things seem less predictable then they used to be. The US military has an acronym to define this delightful ‘new reality’: VUCA.
- Volatility. Change happens faster. It can appear out of nowhere.
- Uncertainty. Outcomes are less predictable. What once worked might not anymore.
- Complexity. It’s getting harder to see what’s going on and how well it’s working.
- Ambiguity. It’s getting harder to improve outcomes. Best choices on how to respond, and their likely consequences on outcomes, are fuzzier than ever.
VUCA times require new approaches to leading B2B sales teams. Some practical suggestions for improving results at a time when everything seems fuzzier than ever:
1. Pay attention to the ‘big trends’ you’re living through. They’re contexts that affect your chances of success. Some of the key trends we’re seeing:
- Time is precious.
No one has the time nor patience for distractions. Your sellers don’t. Neither do your buyers. Experiences that make best use of everyone’s time tend to create conversations. At rates far beyond what’s normal.
- Complexities affect everyone.
The VUCA you and your team are living through is also affecting your buyers. Sales organizations that, in conversations, help their buyers understand and conquer complexities are like gold to their buyers. Precious. Rare. Worth a lot.
- Buyers want better outcomes, not better stuff.
Conversations about ‘stuff’ reduce the odds of ‘next conversations’. Conversations about outcomes improve the odds of ‘next conversations’. Sales organizations that see this reality, and adjust accordingly, are reaping the rewards. They’re winning more new business. From earning more ‘next conversations’.
2. Be more questioning and curious. Encourage the same from everyone on your team.
Do so in ways that help you sense what’s going on at the speed of your business.
Use what you sense to have more honest dialogues amongst yourselves.
Ones that improve your ability to make sense of what you’re sensing.
3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. When there’s lots to learn, the learning matters. By definition it means doing things outside your comfort zone. Testing new practices. Discovering some that work, and many that don’t. You’ve got to go there if you’re ever going to discover ways to produce better results from better practices. Create work environments that help everyone on you team go there. They’ll discover the meaning in their work, and the rewards in doing it well.
By following the tenants of VUCA, your sales team can stay productive during tumultuous times.
About the Author
John Cousineau is the founder and CEO of innovative information inc., makers of Amacus, a solution that improves B2B sales productivity by letting sales teams discover and improve the buyer value of sales practices.
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