We make change when we can no longer live with the status quo.
There are certain realities that have evolved in the world of Sales in the past 5 years that we have seen across companies of varied sizes and industries. In part they have been driven by factors like the economic head winds we have all faced, the role technology plays in the buying process and many other factors. With stagnant organic revenue growth, increasing competition, and the growing commoditization of our solutions, leaders need to transform their Sales organization to drive productivity gain and the corresponding revenue growth.
Somewhat obviously, in the absence of a commitment to change, transformation is not possible. 80% of change initiatives do not yield the expected results. There are many root issues that we see as companies invest in change. In general, we see a desire for “quick fixes”, whether it is changing people or making some small bets on technology tools or training. In a true Sales Transformation, there are not quick fixes, but there is a road map that can be followed.
At Force Inc., we have played a role in Sales Transformation projects that span from Fortune 500 firms to small and medium sized businesses. The business challenges are the same, but differ in scope. Regardless of the size of the company or the industry, the process steps are similar.
Rooted in our Lean Six Sigma training, we believe the beginning point is being able to understand the elements that make up and measure the current state of the effectiveness of your Sales organization. This work tells a very important part of the story to understand where you are. Once you clearly understand those dynamics and benchmarks against peers or industry leaders, then you can focus on what the Desired State may look and the impact that would have on your business.The gap between the Current State and the Desired State leads to the creation of the tactical plan and investment model to transform the Sales organization.
There are critical components that need to be considered as part of any plan. We believe these building blocks are:
1Value Proposition. Less than 30% of Executives when asked by the Marketing Executive Council believe they have a true Value Proposition. A Value Proposition is the center point of any business model and drives a sales organization. This is a major opportunity for many companies.
2Sales Process. Fewer than 50% of companies have any type of Sales Process. In the absence of a process, not only can you not differentiate in how you sell but you are unlikely to align to how your customers want to buy. This also implies inconsistency as Teams and Reps are doing different activities in different ways. Inconsistent approach equals inconsistent results.
3Resource Optimization. Beginning with Channel choices, structure, coverage strategy, hiring profiles, ongoing training, there are many elements that impact the productivity and effectiveness of our Managers and Reps.
4Governance Model. Governance creates alignment through common processes, measures and controls. With everyone speaking the same language, you can help eliminate the drama that often accompanies organizations that lack all of the above. We have all seen those fire drills.
5Technology and Tools. We are in the Technology and Tools business, but believe this should come last, not first. In the absence of the building blocks discussed above, the investment in Technology and Tools has a very limited chance of creating a return.
- Sales Effectiveness Benchmark
- How does your sales organization measure up?
Sales Transformation is a journey.
Although there may not be quick fixes, there are quick wins. The real work begins with the acknowledgment that we can no longer live with the status quo.