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The sales sector is currently facing a multitude of challenges, from the availability of products and services to the shortage of skilled workers, all the way to maximum digitalisation on the customer side, ever greater customer expectations and ever-increasing price pressure, but above all, complexity in customer communication as well as a multitude of customer contact points. Which means and solutions can the sales sector use to firmly and securely align itself with the future?

Where do you start in a complex environment?

One of the main challenges in sales is to fully utilise every digital possibility in order to properly manage sales, both on the management side and on the side of the sales staff. The answer seems obvious: using a digital solution intended to help close sales more intelligently, more efficiently and faster. However, in reality, it turns out that lengthy internal sales projects effectively cause more stress as opposed to quickly stabilising and increasing sales.

Can a super incubator help the same as a turbocharger?

One of the solutions is a highly efficient method: the Sales Innovation Center. The initial situation for sales management and operative sales is identified in one to two days, for example – depending on the size of the project. At the same time, diversified teams of sales experts, from administrators to account managers, all the way to sales managers, develop a clear set of target scenarios to be implemented. Specific goals that need to be achieved are developed in a highly targeted manner as part of a creative and intelligent group process.

Visions and strategies serve as framework parameters in advance so that a Sales Innovation Center can develop its full potential. However, the focus is then on concrete fields of action that can quickly lead to an increase in sales success – elements such as personal concepts, account management, individual activity automations, AI-supported sales opportunity management and the multi-level management of sales, from individual accounts to national subsidiaries with intelligent reports that delight at first glance because they show potential. A wide range of options are available to make sales more successful. All solutions are typically based on a digital platform on which everything is orchestrated so that sales staff are able to reach their goals more quickly. It all works like a turbocharger.

Using swarm intelligence instead of paying for individual expertise

Sales experts have a very keen sense for potential within their own organisational performance. These ideas can be systematically identified and made visible. The Sales Innovation Center can help achieve this in merely one to two days via its powerful and methodically proven approach to creating target visions. The secret, however, is not in the method, but in the team. Focus groups are formed in order to promote the most diverse development possible in this creative process. Their members very quickly sketch out their ideas in order to create an innovative target vision. And the turbocharger is given an extra boost in the various teams by further distinguishing between idea generators and so-called engineers, who use targeted feedback to spur the sales professionals on to even greater performance.

Different teams/groups’ sketches and results are merged into one holistic overall picture in a syntegrative approach – sort of like a highly efficient factory for producing ideas: a powerhouse of human spirit comprised of sales experts born from the core, the very DNA, of a high-performance organisation. Incidentally, the way the results are produced ensures the maximum level of intrinsic motivation and the will of the participants to subsequently implement the developed solutions with the help of experts. In this regard, it is already clear that old approaches to effecting change, such as ‘turning those affected into participants’, which do nothing but cost money and resources, belong to the past. Sales professionals love things to be fast and accurate – and that is exactly what the Sales Innovation Center delivers.

Catalysed results

The Sales Innovation Center methodology also constitutes a comparison in a form similar to that of the current situation. Small, effective teams form a catalyst that exposes the weak points in processes, technologies and procedural organisation in no time at all. Only blunt transparency and honest self-reflection within the sales organisation uncover the potential for the sought-after success for solutions that may prove robust in day-to-day business operations.

Robust success via maximum expertise

The main challenge, however, lies in the transition from today’s realities to an innovative target vision of sales. A large number of actions (action items) are required in order to both initiate changes as well as to quickly achieve them. The results, which often generate some 100 action items, are aligned with best practices and organised once a Sales Innovation Center workshop is concluded. The basis for a robust implementation is formed using a multitude of small manageable work packages. They usually always contain three elements:

  • adjustments to processes,
  • adjustments to IT platforms and
  • adjustments of habitual patterns of behaviour.

Traditional change management is hardly suitable for supporting these minimally invasive changes. Modern methods for steadily putting such packages into effect, such as FAST TRACK, are also used in this context. It is important to avoid affecting the operational process – that is, the day-to-day business – as much as possible while still offering maximum support for every change. At this point, many elements that have long since found their way into the digital transformation, such as agile management for MVP (minimal viable products) production and implementation using defined sprints, come together. Everything is tested in the sales staff’s design thinking-based experiences before it is put into effect. This is where UI/UX designers and experts come in.

Why sales experts love this approach

What sales professionals like most is the reliable delivery of results that immediately help them in their daily work, make it easier, speed it up or get rid of dead weight.

The approach also involves design thinking approaches to very conveniently design the IT platform for sales (CRM) in such a way that sales staff is able to seamlessly keep track of their valuable information on customers, contacts and sales opportunities. What truly provides the traction and grip needed to realise the full horsepower behind design thinking is the UI/UX expertise that is brought in from the outside. Sales professionals have a strong aversion to platforms that eat up their valuable time, but they love ‘visuals’ that immediately show them where the sales potential lies as well as ideas on what to do today in order to close a deal tomorrow. All of this is possible with the Sales Innovation Center – in order to turn the phrase ‘sales excellence’ into an operational experience that inspires every sales professional.

Take advantage of our expertise! We are always happy to assist you

If you need a turbocharger for your professional’s motivation that fully engages your team for your next sales meeting, then we should have a chat about your pressure points and think about how you can use the Sales Innovation Center for yourself to achieve sales excellence faster than the competition.

You will find more exciting topics from the adesso world in our latest blog posts.

Would you like to learn more or do you have any questions? Whether by phone or by email - feel free to contact me. I look forward to talking to you.

M +49 171 9901061

Picture Harry Wessling

Author Harry Wessling

Harry Wessling brings to adesso his expertise as a method developer in the field of customer experience management. With "Steve Jobs Agenda" he has written a business bestseller. He is an advisor and expert for digital transformation initiatives, especially in the field of CRM platform selection, customer experience excellence and sales excellence in banking, automotive, aviation, energy, public and mechanical engineering.

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