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2021 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

1. “Agility” Is More Than a Buzzword: Why B2B Sales Organizations Must Become Even More Adaptive

verfasst von : Michael J. Scherm

Erschienen in: Scrum for Sales

Verlag: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

There are profound reasons why sales organizations must become more agile—no matter how big or small they are, no matter in which industry they play. This chapter lays out five fundamental challenges that require today’s sales organizations to become faster, more flexible, and more adaptive than before—and which every sales manager should know. Among other things, we learn that what customers really want is different from what most sales organizations think they want. Customer value is shifting—sales managers must understand what this shift is and what it means for their sales approach and organizations.

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Fußnoten
1
Various sellingapproaches, such as “SPIN Selling” and the “Challenger Sale” fall under the “solution” and “consultative” selling umbrella respectively and, for the sake of brevity, have not been named here (Rackham, 1988; Adamson & Dixon, 2011; Bosworth, 1994; Adamson et al., 2012).
 
2
The original thoughts had centered around the term “lightweight” before “agile” won the race, closely followed by “adaptive” (Mimbs Nyce, 2017).
 
4
Technology is the key accelerator. Product lifecycles are becoming shorter. According to Zerdick (2001, p. 48ff.), it took 38 years for the radio to reach 50 million people in the USA, while TV reached the same target in 13 years, and the Internet in only five. Between 1980 and 1990, product lifecycles in the electronics industry almost halved (Bullinger & Wasserloos, 1990, pp. 4–12). Indeed, Tesla claims to have brought down the development cycle for a new car from an average of 7 years to 1 year (Nowotny, 2018, p. 23).
 
5
According to a study by Amy Gallo (2014), a 5% increase in customer loyalty generates a 25 to 90 percent increase in profitability.
 
7
Value Stream Mapping, an essential tool for Lean Management, takes these thoughts even further: It considers sales as a process in which a buyer and seller jointly participate in creating value (Barber & Tietje, 2008).
 
8
According to a study by Falter et al. (2016, p. 5), 62 percent of CPOs in the chemical industry feel their teams lack the skills needed to deliver their procurement strategy.
 
9
Similarly, Tuli et al. (2007, pp. 1–17) found that customers see the biggest value not in the solution itself, but in the salesperson helping them navigate four discrete problem areas within their buying journey: (a) Finding and defining the right problem; (b) designing the solution; (c) implementing the solution; (d) securing the adoption and, hence, the profitability of the solution. Value Stream Mapping, an essential tool for Lean Management, takes these thoughts even further and considers sales as a process in which a buyer and seller jointly participate in creating value (Barber & Tietje, 2008).
 
10
Individual aspects of the effect are still to be researched in more detail. For example, Virtanen et al.’s (2015) findings contradict the mainstream and suggest that close collaboration with customers during the sales process may lead to a decreased hit rate.
 
13
Similarly, 84 percent of respondents in a study commissioned by the German Government, Bertelsmann and various multinational companies including Google, PwC and Fujitsu answered that they consider life-long learning as a key success factor in their career (Initiative 21 e.V., 2018).
 
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Metadaten
Titel
“Agility” Is More Than a Buzzword: Why B2B Sales Organizations Must Become Even More Adaptive
verfasst von
Michael J. Scherm
Copyright-Jahr
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82978-0_1