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5 Minutes With Mike Adams

9th Jul 2014

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Mike Adams is a Sales Performance Consultant based in Singapore. He works within a particular niche: the types of organisations that he works with are mostly in the sales industry.
Called ‘The Fixer’ by his clients for his ability to fix complex sales functions, he has been referred to as a leading authority on multi-dimensional sales performance across APAC. We caught up with him to find out how and if technology is disrupting the sales industry.

What are your business priorities for the year ahead?

My big project is my first hardcover book, designed as a summation of the work I do with companies when I help them set up etc. It’s really a roadmap, a blueprint for CEOs and business leaders to give them a tool/sanity check.

What emerging trends should people be aware of?

A few; the multi-channel, omni-channel approach. Customer acquisition is changing the landscape for a lot of sectors – how does the digital/mobile journey translate into physical experiences? How do you embrace these new technologies? How to read and engage? How to dominate and compete?

How are people’s roles and positions in companies changing with the emergence of digital and technology?

There are ‘new’ roles emerging because of digital/social. Everything now leaves a digital footprint and organizations are introducing newer roles. It’s a learning curve from a sales perspective. Organizations need to realize their go-to market strategy may change, so how do they learn? Accessing people is now in one regard easier, you can engage, warm up, introduce before you cold call etc… it’s an evolution. But has anyone cracked it yet? People are expecting industries to be disruptive.

What does the future look like for sales with technology?

Two parts. In the B2C world, customers will be using mobile/digital and they’ll demand it to be very seamless, fast, available and easily accessible. Consumers are now less loyal – if you’re not delivering a better experience they’ll jump ship to something else. Particularly in the retail banking space – how companies leverage great UX – customer acquisition. On the B2B side, it’s tricky. “Don’t rely on technology” – be less impulsive, as there’s a much bigger trust component. You can’t remove the human element from processes. Organizations start to rely on technology, which creates a capability gap between technology and humans.

What common traits do you see in successful salespeople?

There are success traits which permeate all endeavors such as drive, ownership etc. There’s no real mystery around success – but two things are different in sales. First, you need to have a dedication to the craft of selling, constantly learning, skills, rapport, journey that never ends – especially as the buyer is changing. Secondly, think this really separates people, mastering the battle of the mind! Two emotions – abundance and detachment. Sales is ultimately the test of resilience – most people say no or not yet and it’s easy to get very beaten up. When that is no longer an issue, the hunt becomes more fun!

What are the biggest challenges facing people in sales today?

It depends on the market. Globally – 3 things pose challenges. Commoditization, markets are becoming very competitive. Secondly because of that, it’s becoming much harder to differentiate. Thirdly, the world is changing (technology, everything we spoke about earlier etc). The buyer is now much more informed now because information is readily available online. The big challenge is being aware change approach, reengineer.

What’s your favourite local food?

Din Tai Fung but if you mean proper local food, yong tau foo.

Where is your favourite place to travel?

Two places – Manhattan and Europe in the summer.