Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Can Sales & Marketing Change?

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Sales & Marketing 2.0 conference in San Francisco (another great Selling Power event) where a lot of the presenters, including my good self, spoke about the changes in buyer behavior and the impact of this on sales and marketing. What struck me most about the audience questions and the discussions in the hallways was an acceptance of the need for both Sales & Marketing to change but skepticism on the ability of either to do so. Reflecting on this over the past week I decided to look at the whole notion of resistance to change in the context of Sales and Marketing Professionals.

In a 2003 Journal of Applied Psychology piece on Resistance to Change, Shaul Oreg of Cornell University reviewed the literature around this subject and the different traits associated with it, eventually coming up with a Resistance to Change Scale that had four major factors at its core:

1. routine seeking

2. emotional reaction to imposed change

3. short-term focus

4. cognitive rigidity

So let's look at each one of these items and apply them to Sales & Marketing professionals (albeit in a very generalized and non-scientific fashion!).