If you’re in sales and hear that you must be ’ready to embrace changes’ and you think ‘Oh! Again?’ you’re not alone, and it only gets worse. See why and how sales people can break habits most effectively and handle new demands and opportunities in your sales job.
“Change is the only constant,” as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said more than 2,500 years ago, and it is truer today than ever before. The world is in constant development, and we can only be certain of one thing: it will never again be as slow as it is today.
Each day, everything around us changes at a still greater pace and nothing indicates that things will slow down, quite the opposite: development accelerates. As a sales organization, a sales manager, a salesperson and as a private person, you can be vulnerable to changes, but changes also present opportunities to reach higher, happier and better goals in an easier, faster and surer way – and the best way you can avoid lagging behind is by being a frontrunner.
You can handle changes in three ways:
- You can let things slide – do nothing and fail to see new opportunities as well as threats.
- You can get ‘forced change’ – new situations force you into action, but you remain in the rear. For instance: the clients leave, the good employees leave, people go down with stress, the joy of working plummets, and competitors come up with menacing innovations.
- You currently generate ’voluntary’ changes. The entire organization – and you – is at the cutting edge; the employees are alert, open and humbly successful; they see changes as an opportunity to hold on to what is good and achieve growth; and goals are seen as a means to avoid ending up in disadvantageous situations.
In times of change, it remains clear that voluntary changes create the surest and strongest competitive organization, and you actually generate change instead of just being ready to embrace it.
But changes are always faced with old habits which our brain loves because it saves energy with each habit, and also because habits yield a sense of security.
The brain of a modern person was designed 100,000 years ago when it outdid that of the Neanderthals (who died out because they could not adapt as well as Homo sapiens). Back then, the human brain was the smartest of all in what may be termed ‘version 1.0.’
However, your brain has remained the same while changes in our lives now make demands on your brain that are different from those it was designed to tackle.
Security is our dominant physical need – and our brain gets security from doing what we are used to. So if you hear yourself or others saying, ‘why change it if it works?’ or ‘we’re not even done with the last changes yet,’ or ‘I am what I am and that’s how they have to take me,’ it’s quite natural.
Nevertheless, in sales organizations you often find a mutual sense of security through common insecurity. What type of a habit person are you?
Typically, we meet four archetypes:
1. The reactionary type – sees changes as evil and is in direct opposition; doesn’t come up with new ideas.
2. The sceptic type – is a bystander reacting to change but not necessarily in an antagonistic way. The sceptic may come up with ideas but mostly to his or her own advantage.
3. The constructive type – looks for opportunities in what’s new and implements innovations. Comes up with ideas and suggestions for change for the organization as well as for himself or herself, and is good at following up on them.
4. The developer – sees changes as necessary, creates them and thinks in new ways; the developer has many balls in the air at one time but may not always catch them all.
When everything changes, the things that brought you to where you are don’t necessarily take you where you want to go. This is why our ability to innovate and handle changes is one of our most important competitive parameters. Our competitors deliver good products and services as well, so the clients buy where they sense openness to innovation and prefer those who innovate to the customers’ advantage. This is why we need managers and salespeople who are ‘developers’ or ‘constructive types,’ and then we should dare to risk that the clients go to the competitors – which they are unlikely to do.
A Chinese proverb has it that ’habits have long roots.’ It is true that it can be hard to change what feels good – and all novelties and changes are not necessarily good. Therefore we must keep our goals and dreams before us so we fight together and stick to the idea of change and adjustment. Or like the old Indians used to say, ‘if your horse is dead, get off it.’
Congratulations. You are hereby appointed Head of Changes – big and small alike. We need them and we need you.
Have a nice day – and enjoy changes.
Pipeliner CRM empowers sales people and companies to embrace and be in charge of changes. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.