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ATD Blog

Investments in Productivity


Tue Jul 09 2013


Sales Performance and Productivity Series – post 2 of 4. For Post 1 Click Here

Investments in Productivity-e52abb65a5e7d62bf5c2879d8c7c44707c903a26cd507a3e3dc286713775ee9e

If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. Let’s face it, change is driving change. Our customers are constantly changing and demanding a deeper understanding of their issues, environment, and objectives. Our sales reps adapt on the fly. Our markets swirl with new competitors, alternatives, and innovations—all while the economy gyrates to its own rhythm. There is no steady state in sales, just a constantly shifting landscape of customers, opportunities, and competitors.


This doesn’t include the internal change of people moving into different roles; of new salespeople joining the team; or of new vision, strategy, and corporate direction. Other disruptions to a sales organization’s status quo include new and upgraded products and capabilities being rolled out and new leaders at executive and local levels. It hard enough for sales just to try to keep up, let alone gain ground—yet standing pat is not an option. It clear, what got you here won’t keep you here—or get you there.

Investments in sales productivity must be made wisely because all elements of the sales system are interconnected and have a multiplicative effect on each other. Developing new customer messages is good. But when embedded with the methodology and supported by content, collateral, and tools, the impact to productivity is amplified.

Improving customer interactions might involve a refocus on the sales-call process and structure, but when complemented with an integrated planning framework and sales manager coaching, the impact is much greater. Even deploying tablets, when complemented with applications and content that take advantage of the touch screen, the effect expands.

In sales, getting better is the never-ending sharpening, optimization, and expansion of the competencies and capabilities of the sales organization, including reps, managers, and leaders. Investments in productivity require the collaboration and coordination from sales operations, sales training, sales enablement, and the underlying technology. With many options available to sales leaders, they must choose wisely between investing just to keep up –or investing to try to get ahead. Meanwhile, the race goes on…

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