In SBI’s 5-step sales strategy methodology, the Execution phase is where the work begins.
At this point, you figure out how you will enable the sales team. And you determine how you will drive adoption of new sales initiatives.
You will also need a process to keep a pulse on the sales pipeline/forecast. The data you gathered in the Planning phase should come alive through reporting.
Doing these things right – and bringing your sales strategy to life – requires two steps.Bring your sales strategy to life with sales enablement and pipeline/forecast management.
1. Sales Enablement:
How do you move a sales opportunity forward? You get the right sales content to the right salespeople at the right time.
Unfortunately, each year companies create sales programs that are never used in the field. This wastes millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours. Sales reps become numb to the constant influx of training programs. Eventually reps just ignore them.
To create a sales enablement program that gets results and attention, consider the following.
- Where does sales enablement live, and who owns it?
- What are the objectives for your sales enablement team?
- How do you communicate with the sales team to understand what they need?
- How do you develop the content needed to enable the sales team?
- How do you package the sales enablement material? How do you communicate it and drive adoption? Do you need certain technologies to do this?
- What should your training program include to build the necessary sales skills? How do you reinforce this through coaching?
- How do you measure the effectiveness of sales enablement, and learn from successes/failures?
The answers to these questions are your sales enablement execution plan.
2. Pipeline/Forecast Management:
Your credibility is on the line when you forecast sales.
It’s painful when deals that were supposed to close this quarter get pushed out. Or deals that were supposed to amount to millions result in only thousands. Or 500-unit forecasts come in as 50-unit orders. But you’re not psychic. So how do you forecast more accurately?
Answer the following questions.
- What pipeline/forecast KPIs should you focus on?
- What pipeline/forecast management process and cadence is needed to drive accuracy?
- How can you train your team on the pipeline/forecast process? (This one is really important! It means more accurate data further downstream.)
- How should you account for big deals?
This information will help you create a pipeline/forecast management program thatworks. One that builds your credibility, and inspires and challenges your team.
Finally, consider your quarterly business reviews. Can you improve them to help you make the number while not distracting the team?
As a sales leader, you live and breathe sales enablement and forecasting. These are things you plan for and execute quarter after quarter. So make sure you’re managing them in ways that enable your organization to succeed.
Learn more about how to apply this to your organization. Register for a live How to Make Your Number in 2016 workshop. An SBI strategist will come to your office for this 90-minute training. And you’ll come away with a plan that sets you up for 2016 success.