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Organizations often define their sales transformation efforts by changes to the org chart lines and boxes. That’s a mistake that adds risk to an already risky endeavor.

An org chart’s simplicity leaves out how the organization “really works” and lulls many stakeholders to look to the org chart to provide simple answers to complex business issues.

While every sales transformation is different, there are six critical elements we’ve seen as key to sales transformation success:

Six Critical Elements for Sales Transformation Success

  1. Sales Process Effectiveness 
  2. Sales Enablement
  3. Sales Strategy 
  4. Sales and Marketing Alignment
  5. Sales Talent Management 
  6. Sales Operations 

1. 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 align with the go-to-market strategy. Make sure your CRM is up to the task to support these processes.

2. Sales Enablement

Sales teams need competitive intelligence, marketing support, and the right technology platform to deliver content and support the sales process. Sales enablement is not about pointing salespeople to a shared drive to access collateral and templates.

3. 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.

4. Sales and Marketing Alignment

Friction usually starts at the top with this one. If senior sales and marketing leaders are not aligned with the mission and goals, there’s no hope for the organization’s rest. Messaging, content creation, and demand generation must align with the sales strategy’s target market segments. 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.

5. 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, 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. If shifts in sales motions are required for the sales transformation, coaching is needed to effect change.

6. Sales Operations

This is the glue of the transformation, so underinvest at the peril of your sales transformation goals. It would be best to have 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.

In advance of distributing the new org chart, attention and integration of these elements of success should be underway to support the sales transformation. 

 

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