Ever worked in a startup? In particular an early stage one with around 6-12 people? My bet is that it was populated by highly motivated individuals with a strong desire to succeed, and was most likely immense fun to be a part of – and not to mention the hardest you ever worked! And by definition that team was cross-functional and self-organising – in other words it had all the requisite roles and skills to succeed, and was empowered to figure out how to achieve its goals. Continue reading “Cross Functional Teams: Why They’re Good for Your Sales Organisation”
Over the last decade or so, lean and agile principles and practices have become increasingly popular and prevalent in many aspects of business. Whole communities of people have begun to embrace lean and agile, industries focusing on lean and agile have sprung up, and many organisations have bet their futures on “transforming” to lean and agile ways of working.
So what has this got to do with the business of sales and selling? I believe there are many good concepts in lean and agile, and that sales and salespeople can benefit from embracing at least some of them.
A recent article by McKinsey was quoted on LinkedIn as saying: “There is no doubt the role of sales in successful organisations is changing. The tools needed to be successful are changing. The structure of successful sales teams is changing. The role of the customer and the collaboration required between buyer and seller is changing”.
Undoubtedly, all of the above is true and is already happening to some degree in most forward-looking organisations. Partly this is being driven by the age-old pressure for increasing revenues coming from senior managers keen to grow rapidly (although not always for the best reasons) but it is also a reaction to the way the decision-making power is shifting heavily in favour of the buyer who is now better informed than ever before. It is also fair, and painful, to say that many sales organisations have brought this on themselves by exhibiting and rewarding behaviours that are very short-term in their effect and which are not focused on bringing value to the customer. A perfect storm you might say, with added currents of big data fuelling the winds of change.