Fast forward to the future

26th February 2021 |   Nick de Cent

Waldemar Adams explains how SAP’s sales organisation moved quickly to adapt in a year of dramatic change.

Waldemar Adams

iJosT: What do you think are the most important issues around sales currently?

W A: What we see is that we are anyhow in a transition in the world of selling that has now accelerated because of the pandemic situation. Most of it is not new; it started earlier; it has just become more pressing to address and it’s hard to simply continue to stick your head in the sand and to act just the same as before.

We have multiple challenges, or more positively with glass half full, multiple opportunities to move toward a better setup. One issue, of course, is technology. I’m in a technology company, and as a technical person, I like to talk about technology. How do we actually do this instead of boarding a plane or taking a car and going to see the customer? Technology is a good answer: like with conference calls that we do now, video conferencing, and maybe a little bit of virtual reality soon – that is definitely one aspect.

On the other hand, we also need to manage the business. From SAP’s perspective, I would say we are very strong in our position because that’s our home turf, to help companies better manage their business. Specifically, on the sales side, how to manage the data of your customers, how do you manage the data of the topics and the messages you would like to discuss with them? How do you then technically finalise the sales process with offers, with contracts, with signatures? Also, on that side you need to have technology.

Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.