26%. That’s the percentage of sales leaders who feel capable of adapting to constantly changing team culture, according to the Salesforce State of Sales Report. What this number shows is that there is a gap between sales leadership, their teams and the organization they belong to.
What causes this gap? And how can sales leaders utilize that knowledge to rethink how they lead – and become more effective leaders?
The Culture Gap
This culture gap isn’t about adapting to a modern office filled with ping pong tables and Playstations. It’s about the way that selling itself has evolved.
79% of sales reps in the Salesforce survey report having to adapt to new ways of selling very quickly. With this being the feeling “at the coalface”, its impact for leaders – who have to strategically plan ahead, often in years more than quarters – is even more significant.
The changes have been rapid. For example, in the U.S inside sales have grown 15 times faster compared to outside sales. For many companies and sales organizations, this was a completely new way of doing business. Even for “inside native” organizations, the landscape is constantly evolving.
Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
Not just the motto of the US Army Special Forces Green Berets, “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome” is becoming a key mantra in organizational and specifically sales leadership.
Changing markets, different skill set requirements, new technologies and over-burdened customers all contribute to this new requirement of adapting the way sales organizations are run – and led.
Add a decentralized workforce selling from home, and this becomes all the more important.
In many organizations, leadership – particularly sales leadership – was invested in a central authority. Today, sales leaders are building their teams into individual leaders, giving them more responsibility and investing in their growth, for example through ongoing coaching conversations.
In practice, according to Ian McAdam the Chief Commercial Officer at Salesforce Australia, this means that sales leaders should be “providing their people with the right tools, it means sales leaders must accelerate digital transformation and ensure their people are confident with using the new systems.”
McAdams further notes that “the leader’s job is to ensure their people have the necessary capabilities to do the required work, and then to trust them to get it done.”
Empowering your team
At Walnut, we wanted to create a product for the modern sales leader. A product that allows the forward-thinking sales leader to provide their teams with the technology that empowers them to lead within their role, to take responsibility and to own their sales process.
With a platform that takes the critical juncture of the sales cycle – the demo – to new heights, your teams can remove the uncertainty surrounding sales calls, receive insights and analytics, maximize effectiveness and allow you to multiply future revenues by orders of magnitude.