Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Selling in a VUCA world

Apparently two-and-a-half billion more people will be added to the planet between now and 2050, of which 2 billion will be added in developing countries. The digital revolution, the shift in consumer spending suggests that businesses  have to reinvent the way they do selling.

Marketers and sellers need to look to the future more.

In a fast changing world, marketers and sellers need to focus both on insight and foresight. Both are important of course.

Lower barriers to entry and an increasingly international business environment mean more competition than ever. Just-in-time supply chains and rapid development methodologies have lead to more products and services being released more quickly.

 The individual and corporate buyers of these products and services are able to gain access to, and comment on, products  and services faster than ever before.
All of these variables interact – Lattice of complexity

 Company X's product development will change mid-stream as a result of new releases from company Y, and they will both change with the reaction of consumers to Z's latest products. In this interrelated lattice of complexity, change in one place precipitates a waterfall of changes elsewhere.

Selling today in the corporate sector takes place in an environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).

The profession has to both react and adapt to the nature and speed of change in business as never before.
Valuable Insight
 Download for free Buyers' views of Salespeople 2012

The lack of predictability in markets makes for more surprises and constantly tests the business acuity and understanding of Sales concerning the issues of the markets in which they operate.

Technological and economic forces, whether at local, national and global levels, make for a combination of forces that effect modern sales operations.

The digital age has enabled every corporate buyer from whatever size of organisation to source globally. Buyers are in the controlling seat within a world, which is not just ‘their oyster’, but is accessible at their fingertips in an instant.

Discernment of the reality of the situation relying on conventional cause and effect reasoning becomes more confusing for sales. The potential for misreads increases from the mixed and often contradictory interpretations of business conditions and forecasts.

89% Buyers have looked for new suppliers in the last 12 months

 In general, VUCA tends to shape a sales organisation's capacity to:

 1. Anticipate the Issues that Shape Market Conditions

 2. Understand the Consequences of Issues and Actions Sales

 3. Appreciate the Interdependence of Variables within markets

 4. Prepare for Alternative ‘Realities’ and Challenges from economic forces as well as technological

 5. Interpret and Address Relevant Opportunities to exploit

How does Sales pick up on this information and make best use of it, fast?

By sharing information with our extended network

 In addition to the market research such as the TACK  surveys, ask your sales force to talk to customers and feed back anecdotes rapidly. The result may be less accurate, but it will be valuable because it is available sooner.

The flow of information goes in both directions.
Good practise example by Black and Decker
When the Black & Decker sales force in the US needed to keep themselves up to speed with the features of their latest products, they produced short videos to share with each other, describing the features and what made them special. This rapid sharing works far better than centrally produced courses.

Soon, those sales people were sharing this information - on their phones, iPads etc. - with store managers and others outside of Black & Decker. More than the information, the customers also appreciated the openness of the sharing.
The result: happy, better-informed customers who also bought more.

Selling's greatest challenge
Whether you're dealing with the public sphere, or with proprietary information from your extended network , you will get the most value out of information by sharing it internally for comment and insight.
That requires something many leaders find challenging - establishing a culture of debate and sharing.
An open culture is something many sales leaders find difficult, but it is the best way we can survive and thrive today.
Physician Heal Thyself - (note to self !)

This is also the greatest challenge for training professionals, because this is the support learning of the future - away from the world of the classroom course - fast, focused and on-the-job. 
 Training professionals will no longer be restricted to writing and delivering courses, they will be facilitating the entire discussion across the organisation and beyond.
That is why this blog site is here it's raison d'être .
Please feel free to explore the 300+ articles on this sight. Use the search box ( SEARCH THIS BLOG) at the top right of the site page.
The TACK Buyer's views of Salespeople will  also help you to sell in this VUCA world.

No comments:

Post a Comment