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Here’s the second in our series aiming to simplify the maze of leadership theories – by highlighting common themes and findings that are supported by robust research.
If you’re a business leader thinking about undergoing a sales transformation programme consider this. Less than a third of transformations succeed as expected, with a staggering 70 percent of failures due to an organisation’s inability to adopt the required new behaviours quickly and completely.
Do you find the myriad of different leadership models and theories difficult to navigate? You’re in good company! Personally, I find it helpful to focus in on areas of commonality or convergence, as well as what the research tells us about these areas – this tends to lead me away from the buzz words and passing trends.
According to a recent YouGov survey, a majority of Britons feel that empathy is on the decline in the UK. Are we turning into a nation of people who see events only from their own perspective? Are we less interested in other people’s views? And if this is the case what relevance does it have for sales?
Whether we’re being cold-called by our utilities provider to commit to a longer-contract with more add-ons for only an extra £7.50 a month or encouraged by our car insurance provider to add legal protection or no claims discount cover again for just a small increase in our premium, it seems that the customer is increasingly seen as someone who should be wrung dry for every available penny regardless of what their actual needs might be.
In a strategic sales environment, selling is complex:
Potential customers are more informed about both the selling organisation and their competitors. 82% of business buyers agree that technology has made it easier for them to take their business elsewhere. (State of the Connected Customer, Salesforce Research October 2016)
There are more individuals involved on the buyer side. The number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today (The New Sales Imperative, CEB 2017)
These individuals come from different departments and have different, often conflicting, goals and priorities. As a result, decision-making takes longer; 84% of customers report that their purchase process took longer than expected so that the average purchase decision now takes 4.9 months (CEB 2017)
There have been a huge number of references in the press and media in recent weeks to “charisma” and the varying amounts the Tory leadership contenders each possess it. Now that we have our tousled-haired PM in place, the references to his “charisma” and “charm” continue.
In the latest ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report from Salesforce, your B2B buyer’s needs are laid bare. 89% of buyers say the experience a company provides is as important as the products or services it provides. The salesperson’s role in providing that experience is critical and the great news is, if you can provide a quality experience, 82% of buyers say that it raises their expectations of other companies, thereby raising the bar for your competition.