We’ve recently been guiding several clients through stages of their sales transformations — they are in different industries with different desired outcomes for their sales transformations.
I want to share six critical factors we’ve seen as key to the success of all of the sales transformations we are supporting:
Sales Process Effectiveness — Account planning, sales process refinement, sales methodology deployment, pipeline & opportunity management, training, and coaching. These processes are where the hard work is done if you hope to have alignment to the go-to-market strategy.
Sales Enablement — Sales teams need competitive intelligence, marketing support, and the right technology platform to deliver this content. Email distribution or a folder on Google Drive won’t cut it.
Sales Strategy — Sales organization design should not be the first step in the sales strategy. Instead, a clear mission determines strategy; then strategy determines the structure. Companies find it hard to resist not starting with structure.
Sales and Marketing Alignment — Friction usually starts at the top with this one. If senior sales and marketing leaders are not aligned to the mission and goals, there’s no hope for the rest of the organization. Messaging, content creation, and demand generation must align with the target market segments from the Sales Strategy. It’s not about the number of clicks or leads generated; it’s about connecting with the right people, in the right segment, at the right time.
Sales Talent Management — A sales transformation typically requires people to develop new skills, or hire people with new skills. Skill development is a challenging and intense part of the sales transformation that is often under-resourced and not given enough time to succeed. Organizations need to identify the critical skills that salespeople need to succeed and help them with a combination of training, mentoring, and coaching.
Sales Operations — This is the glue of the transformation, so underinvest at the peril of your sales transformation goals. You need the right people who understand selling, finance, metrics, CRM, the sales organization ecosystem, and how the elements interlock to enable success. This function is not about forecasting and CRM data hygiene.
If you are considering a sales transformation, keep these six elements in mind to ensure a successful sales transformation.