Adaptability: Future Proofing Your Sales Team

Adaptability: Future Proofing Your Sales Team
Electronic Security Association — June 7, 2023

What does adaptability mean, and how important is it? 

The world of sales is changing. It’s no longer enough to have a good product and a solid understanding of the market; today, it’s all about getting your salespeople up-to-date on new technologies, tools, the problems your customers are facing, and how you can solve them. The rise in technology has made selling more complex than ever before, and the ability to adapt has never been more critical. Adaptability

Technology and automation will continue to play a massive role in the way we work, which could lead to less need for specialized positions within a company. In turn, salespeople and managers will need to have more adaptability than ever. 


What does it mean to be adaptable?  

Adaptability is the ability to adjust to change. It’s an essential characteristic of successful businesses and successful salespeople who must be able to adapt their approach and strategy to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive market. 

Salespeople often come from different backgrounds, so they bring with them different experiences, skill sets, and ideas about what constitutes success. However, when hiring new talent for your team, it’s important that everyone shares some core values–and adaptability tops that list! 

Adapting means being open-minded enough to take criticism and use it as a way forward; after all, no one knows everything about anything! (Except maybe Einstein). It means constantly seeking out a “better way” to approach sales. Finally, it means listening to input from varied (and, at times, unassuming) sources. Salespeople who are open to new ideas and willing to act on them – even when it’s uncomfortable or foreign – demonstrate a commitment to do what it takes to stay relevant and ahead.   


The Impact of Adaptability 

The companies and individuals that are quickest to adapt to changes will have the edge over their competition. This is especially true for sales professionals. In sales, adaptability is directly impacted by a person’s commitment level. This commitment isn’t just to the company they work for or their customers; it’s a commitment to doing whatever it takes to be successful in sales or sales management. But how do you know what someone’s commitment level is?  

In a survey of 750,000 salespeople worldwide across all industries, only 42% of them demonstrated the commitment to do whatever it takes to be successful in sales. As the leader of a company or sales team, how do you cope with this statistic? The world of sales is changing. If you’re a sales leader, the world of selling is changing. 

If you adapt to these changes, your organization will stay competitive. Salespeople need to be able to adapt to new technologies, new sales channels, and even new strategies for your company in order to remain competitive in this rapidly changing landscape. 

This new sales environment is complex, with countless channels to use and competitors trying to dominate your space. The tools available to sell your product or service are also expanding rapidly, and there are more ways than ever before to measure success. This combination of factors means that adaptability is the key to success in today’s world of selling. 

Adaptability is defined as “the ability or quality of being easily changed or modified.” In a person, adaptability shows a willingness to change and learn new things, even when it’s hard or uncomfortable.   

Successful smiling businesswoman using laptop and computer while doing some paperwork at the office. 


Can you train your sales team to “be adaptable”? 

You can absolutely teach behaviors! To train your sales team to be adaptable, you need to give them the tools they need to succeed. This can include providing them with the right environment and support. Salespeople perform at their highest level in an environment that promotes continuous growth. To create that environment within your organization, give your team access to continual learning (through training and coaching) and opportunities to flex newly honed skills.  

It’s also crucial that you have incentives in place that encourage adaptive behavior, as these will help ensure that your team has the motivation to adjust their approach when needed. 

As technology and automation continue to impact the job market, it’s essential to think about the future of your company and your employees. Will your current team be able to adapt to these changes? Will they be able to handle more adaptable roles that may be necessary as technology continues to automate certain aspects of the job, as customers become harder to reach and are more informed by the time they talk to salespeople? Knowing who has the ability to adapt and how to support key team members that might hesitate is crucial in ensuring that your company stays ahead of the curve.