OREANDA-NEWS. November 26, 2015. The pace of change is quickening, and things seem less predictable then they used to be. The US military has an acronym to define this delightful new reality: VUCA.

  • Volatility. Change happens faster. It can appear out of nowhere.
  • Uncertainty. Outcomes are less predictable. What once worked might not anymore.
  • Complexity. Its getting harder to see whats going on and how well its working.
  • Ambiguity. Its getting harder to improve outcomes. Best choices on how to respond, and their likely consequences on outcomes, are fuzzier than ever.

VUCA times require new approaches to leading B2B sales teams. Some practical suggestions for improving results at a time when everything seems fuzzier than ever:

1. Pay attention to the big trends youre living through. Theyre contexts that affect your chances of success. Some of the key trends were seeing:

  • Time is precious.
    No one has the time nor patience for distractions. Your sellers dont. Neither do your buyers. Experiences that make best use of everyones time tend to create conversations. At rates far beyond whats normal.
  • Complexities affect everyone.
    The VUCA you and your team are living through is also affecting your buyers. Sales organizations that, in conversations, help their buyers understand and conquer complexities are like gold to their buyers. Precious. Rare. Worth a lot.
  • Buyers want better outcomes, not better stuff.
    Conversations about stuff reduce the odds of next conversations. Conversations about outcomes improve the odds of next conversations. Sales organizations that see this reality, and adjust accordingly, are reaping the rewards. Theyre winning more new business. From earning more next conversations.

2. Be more questioning and curious. Encourage the same from everyone on your team.
Do so in ways that help you sense whats going on at the speed of your business.
Use what you sense to have more honest dialogues amongst yourselves.
Ones that improve your ability to make sense of what youre sensing.

3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. When theres lots to learn, the learning matters. By definition it means doing things outside your comfort zone. Testing new practices. Discovering some that work, and many that dont. Youve got to go there if youre ever going to discover ways to produce better results from better practices. Create work environments that help everyone on you team go there. Theyll discover the meaning in their work, and the rewards in doing it well.

By following the tenants of VUCA, your sales team can stay productive during tumultuous times.  

About the Author

John Cousineau is the founder and CEO of innovative information inc., makers of Amacus, a solution that improves B2B sales productivity by letting sales teams discover and improve the buyer value of sales practices.

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