“Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business.” — Mark Sanborn
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” — Bill Clinton
As these quotes state, organizations (and people) that don’t embrace change are bound to lose ground and stagnate.
Having come of working age some years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to see many important changes in the business world. Some changes have proven extremely positive, others not so much. Still, change is critical and unstoppable.
When it comes to recognizing a changing atmosphere, I’ve found there are two types of Business Owners: those who are “early adopters” and quick to jump onboard when something “new” comes along; and those who resist and continue to do things the “old” way.
Resistance to change is natural; there is a comfort and familiarity with how things have always been done. Unfortunately, I have witnessed many management failures with not adopting to new processes, technology, and people; those self-inflicted wounds undermine the Company’s ultimate success.
Here are a few areas where the “This is how we’ve always done it” approach must be forgiven and re-evaluated:
Prior to today’s digital era, most customer service and inside sales reps manually entered all of their orders. There were errors and omissions, processes moved slowly, people became bogged down in onerous methods, and productivity diminished. With computerization, everything seems to have become more streamlined, faster, and with fewer errors, that in the past cost time and money. The improvements to business brought on by new technologies have allowed Companies to grow at once unimaginable rates. Without adopting a digital reality, a Company is sure to fall behind the competition.
> Ask yourself: How can new devices, applications, and functionalities be introduced in order to improve your Company’s workflows?
While sales techniques have remained more or less the same over time, much of the salesperson’s toolkit is different. The Internet encourages sales reps to conduct extensive research on potential sales opportunities, improving the odds of showing value and benefits to potential clients and customers. Relevant “background” information also allows a successful salesperson to overcome objections and close the sale. Armed with a tablet while in the field, a resourceful salesperson will gather important data as well as update the information in their contact management system.
> Ask yourself: Is your sales team equipped with the technology and training to effectively do their job?
Visibility and recognition are critical for Companies that want to succeed in today’s highly competitive business climate. The market is global, and Companies that are slow to adapt to the opportunities provided by social media, apps, and innovative web design, are going to find it more difficult to survive the competition’s challenge.
“The way it has always been done” is no longer the way it should be done. The cliché “adapt or die” resonates loud and clear.
> Ask yourself: How can your brand be more impactful with new marketing and outreach initiatives?
Sure, change is hard. But it is absolutely necessary in order to maintain steady growth and ongoing success. Business coaches, sales and marketing experts, management consultants, and business process improvement experts (like myself!) can be brought in to assist with identifying and implementing overdue changes. Once your Company begins to embrace change, you’ll be excited and motivated by the new opportunities that are available for your business.