In this post, we will help pinpoint why initiatives fall short. We will then help prioritize sales initiatives your leadership team will execute. You will be able to download the Sales Strategy & Execution Tool to help you make your number.
Common Signs of Poor Sales Strategy
- Lack of Collaboration – This is something that plagues most organizations today. Every function is operating in a silo. The senior team does not think of themselves as followers. The result is a decentralized process. Initiatives with low value to the organization get pushed to the front.
- Too Many Initiatives – One problem that plagues sales organizations is they try to do too much. You see sales organization trying to implement over a dozen individual initiatives. This is a sure recipe for failure. Confusion sets in with your sales force on what’s most important.
- Lack of Executive Support – Executive sponsorship is mission critical. The initiatives need to have the support of your senior leaders. They have to be committed to the change and implementation processes.
- Lack of Field Adoption – There is no reinforcement by the sales and marketing leaders. When you reach message clarity, the field is empowered to act. When you lack clarity, it causes paralysis and impedes progress.
These things all add up to 70% failure rate on sales initiatives.
5 Steps to Building an Effective Strategy
- Step 1 (Sales Gap Analysis) – You really just want to understand how your sales force stacks up. You are trying to understand how your sales force is producing against your competition. Then measure against best in class sales organizations. You will reveal where the sales force is thriving and where it is weak. Moreover, in the end you will have defined the problem. The Sales Strategy & Execution Tool will help you improve sales strategy clarity.
- Step 2 (Sales Improvement Priority List) – Use the evidence to assess which initiatives will have the biggest impact on revenue. Then measure the degree of difficulty and value your initiative will provide. The result is a set of priorities that will help you make the number.
- Step 3 (Program Design) – This goes beyond setting the course and more about visible leadership. This is about defining the execution strategy. You want to build clear objectives, milestones, project team, communication plan, metrics, and ownership. This is the blue print by which you will realize your results.
- Step 4 (Sales Kickoff Program Launch) –The communication plan is put into place. You are sharing the clear objectives of the program and the impact on all key stakeholders. This is the beginning of an ongoing communication plan towards adoption.
- Step 5 (QBR Benchmarking) – This is a way to keep track of key milestones of the project. Inspect what you expect! You have spent time carefully constructing a strategy. Ensuring its’ success is staying along for the journey. You will review results as a team at the beginning of each quarter. In addition, you will iterate striving for constant improvement and ownership.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the average tenure of a CEO is 4.5 yrs. Stakeholders are much more vigilant about the performance of the organization. The margin for error is slim. In addition, frustration sets in with the level of impact from your strategic initiatives. You feel like you have pulled every lever with no significant results to show. Turn the results around by starting to answer the questions in the Sales Strategy & Execution Tool. You will be better able to answer the question “what am I missing?” Identify your gaps. Then develop a plan to help you make your number.