On May 26, 2010, Brian Lambert from Forrester Research wrote the blog post “What Changes are the Sales Team Facing – Right Now?”.
I would like to thank Brian, for bringing up the “change” subject. From my experience, being able to manage and moderate change is crucial for the success of any sales enablement initiative.
Let me give you one example from my time at Nortel. Back in 2006, the company had decided to become a services and solutions company – like many other tech firms before. Now, on the one hand we were facing the challenge of defining a solutions portfolio connected to the already existing products, on the other hand thousands of box selling sales people needed to educated to become solution sellers.
One thing that helped us a lot was that we visualized the change for sellers. Executives often wonder, why people are not instantly getting how new structures are supposed to be working – what they forget is how long it actually took to agree on these new structures in the first place. So naturally, adapting to change needs time, but this can be supported, if the change of structures is not only communicated to but visualized for people leveraging inutive graphical navigation elements in the sales portal for example. During the Services and Solutions transformation this approach did help Nortel a great deal.
So, a bucket you might want to add to the change discussion is the bucket of visualization of change. Making changing structures, changing selling context tangible makes change efforts like new solutions launches more likekly to be successful.
Another interesting bucket might be the rapidly changing web and the impact on sellers and buyers – so called Sales 2.0. Only a few years back no seller would have thought that monitoring prospects on LinkedIn and Twitter for example will become key to sales success. Therefore, launching effective Social CRM tools for sellers aligned with the existing sales process will become an important change initiative for sales organizations.