The chief transformation officer is now commonplace in many organizations. One of the first things a transformation officer will implement is an operating cadence referred to as the “Growth Transformation Office” or GTO to drive the transformation and ensure a successful outcome is reached.

I was speaking to a former client who recently implemented a growth transformation office. When I asked what the GTO’s goals were, she shared that the role of a growth transformation office is to accelerate internal transformation by identifying the most impactful strategies/initiatives and then aligning resources and investment to drive long-term impact. The Boston Consulting Group describes a transformation as “A fundamental reboot that enables a business to achieve a dramatic, sustainable improvement in performance and alter the trajectory of its future, not a series of incremental changes.”


Easier said than done, right? A GTO brings a different pace to planning and execution. When done correctly the GTO becomes the guiding light of transformation, propelling the company forward at a new speed that instilling a new culture of execution. The GTO not only sets the schedule and ensures everyone is aligned, it is also tasked with keeping score and ensuring course corrections are made to drive the greatest impact.


GTO Operating Rhythm


GTO is not just another acronym that results in more red tape to slow you down. I am sure you are thinking this is just another version of a PMO which may or may not have been successful in your org. As the name implies, the GTO focuses on strategic high ROI initiatives, whereas traditional PMO functions focus on a broad portfolio of projects, some high impact and some low.


The other difference you will notice with the GTO operating rhythm is the fast paced, 90-120 minute sessions held every other week. These are not “status updates”, rather the focus is on action and the removal of roadblocks. What that means for you, the sales leader, is a broad companywide discussion focused on revenue growth where you can weigh in and help the teams around you execute.


Lastly, as mentioned the GTO keeps score. Look at our GTO Initiative Scorecard for an example of how to keep score and see how it can help drive revenue and help you hit your number.


Why Is a GTO Good for Sales Leaders?


As a sales leader, you must continually balance short- and long-term objectives. You face immediate pressure to hit this quarters number and outpace your market and competitors. At the same time, you must set the long-term sales strategy and think 2-3 steps ahead to ensure investment is allocated to long term initiatives. The top sales leaders do both and a GTO can help.


  1. Rally the Company Behind a Focus on Growth:


    You and your team wake up everyday thinking about growth and hitting a number, but most in the organization do not. A GTO ensures everyone in the broader organization knows what the growth initiatives are, how they are being supported and ultimately what the expected impact is. The entire organization is now thinking about driving growth everyday which is a great thing for you and your team.


  1. Increased Alignment to Ensure Sales Gets the Cross-Functional Support Needed:


    We often see organizations where product is driving their strategy which is not aligned to the sales and/or marketing strategy. A fully enabled GTO will force alignment between all internal stakeholders and ensure resources are allocated where needed to drive your sales transformation.


  1. Other Functional Areas Are Held Accountable vs. the Number Being Solely on Your Shoulders:


    You own the number, that is not going to change…. however, all departments should have skin in the game. Working teams will be created to drive each initiative under a GTO structure and responsible parties will be identified from each functional area. This will ensure these functions are held accountable for delivering their parts and over the long term create a culture of accountability. Sales is no longer on an island isolated from the rest of the company, everyone is in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.


  1. More Visibility and Exposure for Key Sales Leaders in Your Org:


    Having initiative owners and working teams identified as part of the GTO is a great way to elevate some of your key leaders and get more visibility/exposure for them. The GTO operating rhythm reports to the executive team and ultimately the board so these leaders will get a chance to present and interact at a different level. This can be either a new muscle the leader is building or an opportunity to refine their ability to drive strategic initiatives that include cross-functional teams outside of sales.


SBI spoke with the GM and Head of Sales for BravoSolution to discuss executing a sales transformation. Listen to the discussion to understand how to embark on a sales transformation.


Now you understand what a GTO is and how it can help drive a sales transformation.


There are clear benefits for sales leaders and the broader sales team around you. If you take anything away from how to leverage a growth transformation office to drive revenue it would be:


  1. Use the GTO operating rhythm to drive accountability across the organization to help you hit your number
  2. Use a GTO Initiative Scorecard to keep score and ensure the work is leading to the expected results you need to achieve revenue growth.



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Andy Hastings

Leverages expertise in operations, sales and marketing to implement new strategies that help clients make their number

Prior to SBI, Andy spent 8+ years at Constant Contact in a hyper growth SaaS environment. He brings significant expertise in direct sales, channel sales, marketing, operations and project management. Most notably, he delivered results on projects that included sales and marketing strategy, CRM design and implementation and sales productivity / enablement. Known as a problem solver who can quickly diagnose sales and marketing gaps, develop a strategy and lead cross functional teams during implementation resulting in organizations making their number.

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