CEOs and SVPs of Sales often disagree on sales strategy. The CEO is asking for growth, but is balancing multiple other strategic initiatives. Sales Leaders are focused on making the revenue growth number. In addition, product and operations leaders are lobbying for more funding. The CEO is asking them to achieve specific goals. If sales isn’t aligned, each department pulls in different directions. This friction will lead to problems with other functional leaders. A lack of support from your colleagues will impact your job security.
“When the sales strategy is not aligned with the corporate strategy, the sales team is in conflict with other functions in the company. At times, the internal sale is harder than the opening of a new account. Getting a contract modified, a price exception approved, or a configuration altered can take too much time. The prospect begins to feel your company is difficult to do business with. This can result in losing some deals.” -SBI’s Research: How to Make the Number in 2015
This topic is explored in detail in “How to Make Your Number in 2015.” The report provides best practices on how your peers align corporate and sales strategy.
Let’s Break Down Each Issue
“The internal sale is harder than the opening of a new account.”
You are asking departments to perform activities not aligned to their goals. They resist. This leads to sales reps spending a lot of time pushing deals through. Then Sales Managers get involved to help get approvals. More time shifts from selling to non-selling. You have expensive resources spending more time pushing paper than selling and coaching. Results suffer.
“Getting a contract modified, a price exception approved or a configuration altered can take too much time.”
Time kills all deals. Sales people spend countless hours creating urgency only to be stifled internally. Not only will revenue suffer, but ‘A’ players will look elsewhere for employment. Your best people want obstacles removed. Nothing is more painful for a top performer than internal bureaucracy stalling deals.
“The prospect begins to feel your company is difficult to do business with.”
A seamless buying experience is a top priority for most buyers. If the buying process is difficult, prospects figure future interactions will be as well. Unless you have a massive price or product advantage, you will lose more deals. The competition will use this weakness against you in sales opportunities. Ultimately, you will lose market share.
This friction between departments leads to a lack of trust. Internally between Sales and other functions. Externally between your company and prospects. When trust becomes an issue internally, your colleagues don’t support your ideas. They may even go as far as to sabotage you. When trust becomes an issue externally, you can’t make the revenue growth goal. The combination will lead to a lack of employment for you, the Sales Leader.
How can you fix this issue? Align the following six areas of your sales strategy to the corporate strategy.
Each area is explained in detail in this report, “How to Make Your Number in 2015.” Avoid the pain that results from a lack of strategic alignment. Accept the sales strategy report to learn from the top 20% of your peers.