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Death of a Salesman/SFA
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On August 15, 2012 SAP Radio featured three sales experts who all agreed that sales force automation (SFA) is dead. The problem with SFA is it is set up to drive efficiencies of the sales team not for the benefit of the customer. “Sales is the most broken of all business functions,” declared Bob Nicols CEO of AXIOM a Sales Force Development company. And he’s right. To be a successful, global sales force the focus should be on transformation. That means forgetting the 90 day sales cycles and tying sales processes to the demands of Wall Street. The customer comes first. But it’s not an easy or short road.

“Transformation, like a leopard’s spots changing, happens seldom and slowly,” said Kimberly Senior, Executive Director, Professional Development for AT&T Business Solutions Sales organization. “The key to success in driving any type of transformation is committed, focused, disciplined incremental improvement over time.”

It was SAP’s Nicholas Kontopoulos Senior Director of Global CRM Marketing who shocked the audience declaring SFA dead. His view is that mobility, big data and social business are the tools of today’s successful sales warrior.

Many questions – from financial comp plans to universal incentives and globalization – came in from the live audience via Twitter. Each sales expert handled the questions on-the-fly and also served up a dire prediction into 2017: “transform your sales force today or die quickly.” The experts argue that transformation can propel a company’s status from approved vendor to trusted advisor. Certainly a position of strength.

Listen to the show here and feel free to tweet your comments with #SAPRadio or post them below.

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