When a new CSO takes over, he must be fast out of the gate. Chances are there are big visions for the future. It would be nice if this one survived to see the outcome. To help him succeed, Sales Operations must turn vision to tactics. Execution makes or breaks a sales initiative. Execution leads to adoption. When everyone is rowing in the same direction, success follows. This is especially important if the last sales leader failed due to poor execution.
I was recently talking with a Sales Operations leader. She knew that the new leader had some innovative ideas for the future. What he lacked was the quick fix for today’s challenges. They needed something fast, so the CSO could focus on the long term. Here’s what Paula told me:
“On Tony’s first day I dusted off our volumes of buying research. I went to Tony, armed with a strategy that was never properly implemented. We had invested heavily in personas and process maps. The research was sound. But it was never turned into activities and tools. There was no way to quantify whether it was working. The sales team was lost on how to use them. The executive team grew frustrated and turned their focus to the new shiny object. Then rumors of a shakeup made their way through the office. And here we are. We’ve got the Cadillac but don’t have the keys. Driving these tools through the organization could save our quarter.”
There are a number of tools Paula can use to enable the strategy. A simple one to adopt is the Persona Call Plan. This tool can quickly be customized for your buyers. It can be stored and edited on your sales rep’s mobile device or tablet. With the right technology, it can be seamlessly updated into your CRM.
So how will such a simple tool drive such quick results?
1) Win rates will go up. The Persona Call Plan gives visibility into decision makers being engaged. You will know whether or not you are touching all of our personas. It may be that you need to move your meetings upstream. Chances are, personas not being engaged are unfamiliar to the sales team. Weekly sales meetings can be spent introducing a persona’s objectives and business challenges. Touching the right buyers ensures campaigns are not stalled and win rates go up.
2) Margins will increase. The Persona Call Plan provides insight into the information a buyer wants. The tool allows sellers to spot where a buyer is in their process. When you can engage a buyer early in their process, you can differentiate. A differentiated buying experience typically relieves pricing pressure. Higher sale prices lead to stronger margins.
3) Measuring a process always increases the chances of success. Usage of the Persona Call Plan, linked to your CRM, can be tracked. Opportunities with a certain dollar amount attached may require a Call Plan. From here you can determine the buying stages of these opportunities. Where are the majority of our opportunities in the buying process? Focus can be put in creating and leveraging content to pull these opportunities along.
A new head of sales needs quick wins. Chances are the resources exist already. By leading the implementation of a prior sales initiative, you will provide breathing room. Your sales leader will thank you when he comes up for air.