”Everybody wants Development – nobody wants Change.” Søren Kierkegaard
In many of our projects for sales development, one of the most significant challenges is making the entire sales organisation to want not only the development but also the change demanded by the development.
Creating significant growth in sales is impossible without changing a range of parameters many of which have been the way they are for a long period of time. For example, sales developments that produce results often require that:
- Culture is changed
- Job descriptions and areas of responsibility are adjusted and/or changed
- Management becomes more goal-oriented and follows the individual seller
- Effective sales processes are defined and followed
- Precise manuscripts for activities in the sales process are formulated and used
- Bonus systems are made more aggressive
- Tasks are reassigned to marketing coordinators, office assistants, accountants, etc.
I was recently in an evaluation meeting with a client after having put the aforementioned changes – and some additional ones – into use for a longer period of time. In this meeting, the director and sales manager explained that their sellers were still annoyed and unsatisfied as they were unhappy with all the changes.
But the sales performance had gone up by more than 300%.
Most people would call this a huge success. The customer was happy and satisfied with the progress, but not with the new demands for leadership and follow-ups in the sales department. The cultural change had yet to become the norm and everything would be easier if it had just remained the way it was.
In other words - they wanted the development, but not the change.
More than anything else, sales development requires the leadership to have an iron will, even when employees become unsatisfied with the changes and wish to return to the methods that they have been used to.
Development requires change.