Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Force field Analysis in Professional Selling

Force Field Analysis (FFA) is a method for understanding problem situations and planning corrective actions.

It presents a framework for looking at the factors (forces) that influence a situation, originally social situations. It looks at forces that are either driving movement toward an objective (helping forces) or blocking movement toward that goal (hindering forces).

Developed by Kurt Lewin 1890-1947 , FFA has  been used for a number of organizational development, process management, and change management for many years.

It is a very useful tool for businesses with complex sales processes where the sales operation feels confronted with many obstacles preventing them from getting to where they want to be.
The FFA technique analyses a sales problem as being in equilibrium – the result of various opposing forces.
Moving to a more desirable state of affairs (desired situation) can only be achieved by adjusting the equilibrium, moving it and stabilising it in the new position.

To move the equilibrium, you must alter the forces - add more driving forces and reduce the restraining ones.

How can Sales use it?

a) ‘IS’ situation: Choose a concrete sales problem situation (e.g. non achievement of target X) and write the description of this situation under ‘IS’ on the left of the board.

The stages in theory
Stage 1 The equilibrium IS on the left hand side and TO BE on the right hand side

Stage 2 Identify which forces are pushing towards and pushing against
Stage 3 Consider which of the hindering forces are cancelled or eliminated by the driving forces

b)         ‘TO BE’ situation: Carefully describe the desired state. What would your sales team wish the desired situation to look like and write the description to the right under ‘To Be’ vision

c)         Identify the forces operating in your sales operation's force field. List the forces which are pushing towards the desired situation (left) and those pushing away from it (right).

d)         Examine the forces and apply a weighting to each of them through group consensus

e)         Consider the strategies for moving the equilibrium

  Add more Driving Forces

  Reduce Restraining or Hindering Forces

f)          Select several important restraining forces and brainstorm plans to reduce them.

g)         Propose some new driving forces and discuss Implementation Plan

h )         Implement Action Plans

Plan how to stabilise the Force Field once the desired state has been reached

  Indicate WHAT needs to happen, WHO will be doing it, and BY WHEN it will be done.

                         Optionally, a sales manager or trainer can add HOW to do but ideally  sales teams should be empowered to find the solution themselves  and action it.

Force field Analysis in practise at a training session

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