Sales Management in the VUCA World

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In the professional world, the time around the turn of the century brought with itself a strong inclination to the behaviors of the three Fs – Focused, Fast and Flexible.

Of course, the shift in mindset was attracted by the geometrically progressing prominence and importance of technology in the business environment. It was around this time, in 1987, that the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, referring to the emerging business environment, first mentioned the term VUCA; it fit in like a missing puzzle piece with the sudden uproar around the three Fs. The Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous environment – ranging from corporate to education, was the truth of the hour and was seen to be having a tremendous impact on sales and business.

Sales Management

As the backbone of an organization in the B2B selling business, the sales force will always have to be rock solid and agile to maintain stability and focus against any and all external market forces. When evaluations of the solidity of the sales force is done through the “VUCA” lens, it emerges that the traditional method of numbers and target driven sales has to be upgraded to make it more ‘people-driven’ sales. This seemingly obvious change, has many a times, been neglected due to intense performance pressure and the cutthroat competitiveness that the sales role brings. Notably, the tremendously changing market dynamics in the last decade, however, has compelled organizations to carve out their personal niche for selling by focusing on each sales person in a unified team. In successful organisations, what repeatedly worked for them was their shift in focus from the mere sales target to an efficient leadership and management of each member of the sales force .

Through our research and interactions with sales leaders across the nation, we found the following ways key to driving efficient sales management in the VUCA world –

The interaction between the sales professional and the potential buyer must be more relationship oriented than transaction oriented. The ‘human touch’, will always serve as a competitive advantage for those, who have been able to master it

This disposition to relationship building must reflect within the sales force of an organization too. The sales leaders must shift focus from merely individual sales performance to a unified team performance.

The metamorphosis of ‘Sales Managers’ into ‘Sales Leaders’ is achieved through leading with Emotional Intelligence.

All members of the sales force must constantly innovate and have an environment conducive to innovation to drive and encourage entrepreneurial behaviors as opposed to administrative behaviors. Increased encouragement to innovate is proven to be directly proportional to the volume of business solicited.

One thing is for sure; you cannot choose to not change when the world around changes. Responding to change is mandatory.

With over 70 years of research and experience, InspireOne, in association with Tack TMI Global, continues to up-skill the sales force of organizations to be able to create, develop and sustain sales in the VUCA world.

To understand more about our sales training and development offerings, check out this link.


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