No matter where you start doing things differently it will be a journey without final state of perfection. My personal experience in software industry started with empowerment, trust, investment and an innovative environment - all invaluable assets to be successful and certainly something to secure to back your own digital transformation!
The New World of Work offers more than saving commute time and a better CO2 footprint for the individual. It´s certainly more than saving office space, reducing travel cost and increasing employer attractiveness scores. Optimizing work and life for more productivity means a fundamental change of habits - professionally and privately.
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem - Do you understand me?
Let´s not confuse, the digital transformation of our work- and lifestyle remains a cultural challenge, a social responsibility and it mandates innovation in leadership approaches. What may work on an individual- or team level requires a more systematic effort to organizational structures. Conventional Change Management is not sufficient to address the topic says Barbara Josef, Partner at 5to9. It requires general management attention to orchestrate the cultural transformation and realize the productivity potential. All functions from IT, Finance, HR and the Line Organizations need to be onboard and synchronized. Make sure, you keep it simple and rational in your approach to policies.
"Now that it's definitely not cool anymore, it feels safe for me to start tweeting as well ..."
During my career, I had the pleasure to work in mobile workplaces, use flexible- and drop-in offices, collaborate during intense travel, perform in international roles, manage remote teams, lead business in distributed environments and experience diverse cultures. Still, I keep exploring, learning, optimizing and innovating my environment - always aware that there will be no perfect time to try new things.
The next big transformation in sales is within reach. Therefore, I dive deep into Artificial Intelligence to further benefit Business Insight and, I look into seamless channel integration to imagine teamwork with our future colleagues, the AI Bots. If sales can add value to customers through well articulated procedures, repetitive activities and standardized offerings, than the combination of new technology with experienced sellers will lead to new exciting ways of customer experience.
Account Planning means planning for results. In a number driven world of sales, the decomposition of an aspired revenue goal is psychologically the first step to accepting the challenge. While SMART goals and respective objectives may well fit on a small napkin, they by no means are the plan. I would even argue that it is the wrong end to start with - relevant account plans are starting with the customer.
In recent years, Business-to-Business sales has evolved in various dimensions, redefining how we engage with customers:
Account Planning is a reflection on the evolution in sales but even more, so it is a yardstick on the sophistication of your teams work - what a great coaching opportunity or moment to personally benefit the customer relationship in form of executive sponsorship.
Imagine the business potential of getting the perception right by moving away from a necessary evil and abandoning the disrespect which a napkin implies.
For example, the authors are not asking why “CRM self-reported data maybe inherently flawed” but propose the approach “to analyze the digital exhaust of calendar and email metadata” instead.
We can be rest assured that it will be 10 AM again and that time will tell how many of their top performing sellers are willing to accept the proposed micro management approach to optimization.
It´s clear that maintaining business data in CRM is not the first thing a seller will fall in love with but why should metadata from calendar, mail or any other app maybe in better shape or even be more insightful than explicit business information? - Data quality is about discipline but sustainability only can be achieved where relevant business conversation drives respective demand for it.
Times of the Lone Wolves in sales are over and contemporary solution selling approaches mandate efficient teamwork. The better you coach this in every interaction with your sellers, the more you inherently drive demand for systematic alignment. This will make the case for efficient Time Management and, ultimately it shows the difference between a metering tool and CRM as a sales productivity engine.
Selling into complex enterprises is a time intense endeavor, so let´s maximize selling time for your teams, e.g. balancing all internal work with the amount of time they need to spend properly serving customers. Time Management also remains a key enabling factor on seller level, requiring to systematically coach and develop every individual – probably starting with yourself!
If you want to learn more on how to practically approach Time Management, Keith Rosen recently published his new book: “Own Your Day!”. It´s worth reading and opens eyes on why your calendar may yet not be the ideal starting point to conclude optimization from.
Either way, Coaching or Inspection - you decide but be aware: No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! 😉