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”.
Lawrence Lee runs SPI’s operations in Greater China.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
In Asia Pacific, companies want results from their sales training. However, many companies buy sales training transactionally and don’t do enough to drive the adoption and behavior change necessary to achieve expected outcomes. They need better guidance for how to change and what it will take to succeed.
What is causing this trend?
Many companies believe that selling is an art and heavily relationship-based, and have lagged behind their western peers in developing selling standards. However, selling is becoming more difficult, and competition is becoming more intense. Company management wants to change the way their people sell, but few know how they want their people to sell. Some leaders will look to the big consulting firms for help, but in many cases, they do not get what they need. Others will throw a training event at the problem, and again, end up disappointed.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Many companies are wasting a lot of time, effort and money to improve sales performance by trial and error and not seeing results. Those who commit to doing sales improvement or transformation properly will reap the rewards. They will win more, grow faster, and generate higher profitability. Those who continue to attempt change half-heartedly will continue to be frustrated. The difference in approach between those who commit and those who do not commit becomes even more extreme for companies that sell high-value, complex solutions.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Changing the way your people sell or adopting a common sales approach can seem overwhelming. Start small but do it right. Prove the approach for your company and then expand. Be sure to define the profile of a future successful salesperson. Start simple to address a couple of skills at a time with quantifiable measurement and progressively develop the team. Do not try to solve everything at once. Finally, think beyond a training class to a system for continuously developing and managing a sales team.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!