[Podcast] Managing Change in a Global Industry with Johanna Kuusisto – Episode 28

March 21st, 2018

In this 21 minute podcast Johanna explains:

  • How to manage industry transformation from a sales perspective
  • How they build and measure sales competencies consistently across remote sales teams
  • Her top three tips for implementing change in a global sales force

Wartsila is a Finnish company with over 18,000 professional in over 200 locations in more than 70 countries. The company enables sustainable societies with smart technology. Their solutions cover the energy and marine industries. We spoke to Johanna Kuusisto, Senior Development Manager. She has a background in Learning and Development and now brings her expertise to the sales team.

“I work in marine solutions and am responsible for supporting our salespeople to sell and serve our customers smarter. We develop processes, tools and competencies that help our salespeople be prepared for the future,” outlines Johanna.

“Our sales cycle can be anything from one to five years. For example, if a cruise line decides to build a new cruise ship our salespeople first need to be engaged early on to influence and be part of the bidding process,” explains Johanna. “There are many players in the process – ship owners, shipyards, ship designers, and operators. Our salespeople need to create relationships and build trust with all of them. We also have hundreds of products that our salespeople need to be aware of and understand the value of. They need to match this value with each customer’s specific needs.”

Long sales cycles and complex products make sales challenging at Wartsila, but the rate of change in their industry is accelerating their need to sell differently. “There are mega trends happening in our industry. Regulation is changing, some products will be mandatory. People are also getting older which means we need to develop the tourism and service sector more and this involves influences customers, shipyards and ship owners,” explains Johanna. “Our salespeople need to accept this change. They need to be flexible in their mindset and keep their know-how up to date.”

Keeping everyone on the same page can be challenging, particularly with information scattered across emails, social media, and documents. This is amplified by remote and global sales teams.

Sales readiness is crucial for a company like us. We need to continuously find new ways to work and connect our people.”