We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Nick Maslanka is a Senior Sales Consultant at SPI and manages large, global accounts.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
I am seeing some very high-performing clients focused on what they need to create a competitive advantage in 2020. That is not to say that they do not want to be competitive today, but they want to sustain that advantage into the foreseeable future.
What is causing this trend?
The economy is doing well, and there is optimism that business conditions will be conducive to growth. These companies have addressed short-term goals needs and have now set their sights further out into the future. They want to ensure that they are ready and able to seize the future opportunity.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
It is easy to overly focus on the day-to-day challenges that business presents, especially in sales where you are measured every month and every quarter. There will always be short-term pressure on sales, but good times offer you a bit of a luxury of time. Rather than trying to react to the adverse market situation and course correct, you can look through the windshield versus through the rearview mirror. Now is the time to be thoughtful about how that transformation and that transfer of knowledge unfolds over the next couple of years. Conversely, companies that stay stuck in the present and even the past will never get ahead of the curve. They, in turn, face the most risk of not being prepared for the future and the challenges that come with preparation.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
It is better to change on your terms when business is good than to change on someone else’s terms when business is bad. Be bold and audacious, but communicate clearly and honestly with your people about the motivation behind the change and why it is important to change now. Then consider your top performers, customers, and market to determine the profile and competencies of salespeople needed to drive your future state. This will help you begin your transformation by selecting and developing for the future today. Once you paint a picture of the future, communicate it to build support and enthusiasm. Then create a plan to guide you on your journey, create even more clarity, and drive accountability for progress. You may encounter short-term business challenges, but don’t let these derail your long-term vision and plan.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!