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Chaos, Complexity, Predictable Revenue, Making “Big Moves”

by David Brock on November 23rd, 2020

For the past decade, so many have sought to mechanize selling, creating predictable revenue. We developed methods and approaches, we’ve transactionalized the selling process, in spite of too many customers finding increased difficulty in navigating their buying processes. Even before the pandemic and collapse of the economy, how we sold became increasingly unpredictable.

The percent of people making their goals continued to decline, organizations churned more rapidly, with tenure declining to 16.5 months. Sales leaders, increasingly, struggled to make sense of changes in their markets and to discover changes in the way the organized and executed their selling processes. At the same time, customers increasingly struggled to make sense of their complex worlds.

And then, the world turned upside down. The pandemic hit, businesses shut down, every company, every country, every community, each one of us have been confronted with a world few have experienced.

We struggle to make sense, we struggle to understand, we struggle to respond. We long to get “back to normal,” in our businesses, communities, and families.

The models that served us before are failing, or, in the least, no longer as effective as they had been.

Actually, we should not be surprised. We are living in worlds that are increasingly complex, by themselves, and when they intersect. We have long known the customer buying process is non linear, more closely resembling a bowl of spaghetti and characterized as “squishy.” Yet, for years, the selling world has responded by thinking linearly, sequentially forcing customers through our predictable selling processes (which, weren’t very predictable.).

And these already complex, unstable worlds have been disrupted tremendously, What wasn’t working well in the past is not working at all. Some respond by cutting costs, stopping as much as they can, wishing for miracles. Some are battening down the hatches, hoping to struggle through, thinking we will get back to normal–not recognizing the world has changed forever.

And then there are a few who see this as an opportunity to reinvent themselves, their organizations, and how they engage customers. They seek to disrupt themselves, their people, their companies, and how they engage their customers.

These leaders see an opportunity in what we face. The world has turned upside down, and they are responding to and creating new opportunities.

They are experimenting, they are collaborating, they are thinking differently. Where others will take no risks, hoping for stability, they recognize the biggest risk is not taking advantage of the opportunity to radically change and redefine how they work and engage.

As one executive shared, “Right now you have the ‘air cover’ to make some big moves. If there has ever been a chance to reshape an organization, now is the time!”

It turns out, making big moves, is the least risky strategy for moving forward. What a wonderful opportunity to reshape our and our customers’ worlds.

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