Why do Sales Organizations Struggle to Change?


To truly change, there is no one silver bullet. The fact is, any change management process will have many moving parts and interdependencies. This is the heavy lifting that often derails change management initiatives. In many cases, this illustrates the reason why executives never even embark on serious, well-thought out change management plans.

Changing behaviours and organizational dynamics is extremely hard to do. Yet, to improve performance is to change, so it makes sense that business leaders need to become effective change agents.

There are a number of ways to change and improve a sales organization. The extent of success of any change management initiative within a sales organization depends on:

  • the strength of your existing sales force
  • the strength of your leadership, and
  • the alignment to your overall corporate strategy.


The ongoing process of Sales Training to Sales Effectiveness to Sales Transformation is the typical continuum of change that firms embark upon when they look to improve their sales force. In reality however, most plans are a combination of the three elements, and are more or less hybrid approaches:


Training the sales force to be more effective in front of clients, and more consistent as a unit, is a high-value exercise. The goal is to professionalize the sales force and to create alignment with the brand.

Sales Effectiveness and KPIs

When firms start to focus on sales effectiveness, this usually means a focused approach to driving specific metrics and results – an effort to attack either weaknesses or opportunities that have been clearly identified.

Sales Transformation

Sales transformation starts to consider every element of a sales organization, and tackle the tough issues related to the interdependencies that connect within an organization’s sales ecosystem.

As each organization is unique, this continuum probably best represents the level of change management required, depending on the selected approach. However you direct your efforts, it will undoubtedly require change. Improving the effectiveness of a sales organization takes a solid change management strategy and a commitment to abandoning the status quo.

To ensure success, the key obstacles to effective change need to be identified, understood, and addressed. Well-executed change management efforts can yield fantastic results, but they can also prove disastrous when poorly implemented. The companies which we have observed as successful, are the ones that work toward real results which serve as milestones for continuous improvement.

Recognize the obstacles and address them head on, because the results are really worth fighting for.


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