Selling – if it’s hard to change the easy, how hard is it to change the difficult?

Sales performance change

Those of us in sales and sales training often talk about “behavioral change”, “performance change”, and even “stickiness”. Getting anyone to change performance, including sales reps and sales managers, isn’t easy.

When we read about S.C. Johnson & Son and its predicament with the Windex refill pouch – we smiled – and found it humbling …

From solar panels to recycling, everywhere you turn, you’ll see the green movement.  Others have embraced the green movement with environmentally-friendly packaging that reduces the amount of paper or plastic used. Many have pursued the refill concept producing containers which lack the sophisticated trigger sprays, pumps or caps of the original bottles, making them cheaper and faster to produce, fill and ship – important savings as commodity and fuel prices soar. Efficient refills can translate to unit costs 20%-30% lower – boosting profit margins by 15%-20%.

S.C. Johnson took an interesting tact, but perhaps set its goals too high. It planned to sell concentrated Windex refills in pouches. The pouch would avoid transporting about 1.5 pounds of water, use 90% less plastic than a 26 oz. bottle, and costs $2.50 – vs. $3.50 for a comparable bottle. Don’t look for the pouches in your supermarket – they’re only sold online. When getting ready to launch the refill pouches S.C. Johnson learned –pouring Windex into narrow spray bottles and then adding water can be taxing. People didn’t want to adopt that new behavior.”

If S.C. Johnson can’t get people to add the contents of a pouch and water to a Windex bottle, imagine the work ahead for changing sales behavior!

Check out other posts on sales effectiveness at the Sales Training Connection. 

 ©2011 Sales Horizons™, LLC

About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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