As a newly hired sales leader, it’s tempting to sit back and enjoy the honeymoon phase of the job. However, when the spotlight wears off, or rookie mistakes become less forgivable, it becomes a long road to make up any time wasted in your first few months. Any tenured CRO knows that the first 90 days in this position is critical in order to set the tone for the team and build a solid foundation to make the number.
The key to getting a fast start in your new position is rooted in the sales strategy you plan to execute. To help you in your new role, SBI has created the Winning Sales Strategy Checklist that includes best practices for building your strategy and key questions for evaluating segmentation, planning, execution, and more.
Executing a Best-in-Class Sales Strategy
SBI research has found that 72% of new sales leaders arrive at an organization with no strategy in place. Before your day one, take the time to define and understand your sales strategy vs. tactics—doing the right things instead of doing things right.
The goal of any sales leader is to build a successful plan and execute brilliantly. With the added pressure of being newly hired, this plan needs to be done quickly. The outcome of your strategy could make or break your reputation, and tenure, within the company.
In order to thrive in your new role, here are 5 steps to consider when developing your strategy.
- Planning: Develop a sales and data plan to will allow your organization to make your number.
- Engagement: Determine the processes in which the sales team will interact with the customers and buyers.
- Organization: Understand how to set up the company’s structure so that the right people are in the right roles.
- Execution: Define how your team will execute the strategy by focusing on areas like sales enablement, pipeline management, and forecasting.
- Support: Ensure the sales team’s effectiveness through support by making the organization easy to do business with.
This is just the start of your overall sales strategy. Next, it’s essential to evaluate it against all other functions to ensure it is in line with the organization as well as the external marketplace. This is defined as strategic alignment.
Achieve Strategic Alignment Across the Organization
With all successful strategies, there must be an order and process to ensure profitable revenue growth and alignment throughout the organization. It is essential to visit the following strategies in this particular order as they ultimately will build upon one another.
- Market Research: This starts with thorough market research. As a new sales leader, conducting market research allows you to have a deep understanding of the buyers, customers, and users in your marketplace to ensure that the company has a competitive differentiation.
- Corporate Strategy: After your initial market research is complete, look at the overall corporate strategy. The corporate strategy is about the allocation of people, money, and time in the pursuit of profitable growth.
- Product Strategy: Assess if your offerings (current and future) and overall product strategy are in line with the corporate strategy or if demands and shifts in the market warrant a new approach to best fit their needs.
- Marketing Strategy: Evaluate how marketing is generating demand for the products and services you’re going to sell. A recent SBI blog shares how to avoid marketing getting left behind from the corporate strategy.
- Talent Strategy: Although the last step of achieving your strategic alignment, this may be one of the most important aspects of your strategy. Ensure you have the right people in the right positions in order to execute your sales strategy and turn demand into revenue.
As a new sales leader, it is vital to involve all other functions in your strategy. Greatness does not happen in silos.
Establish a Cohesive Operating Cadence
SBI has found that for many organizations the following strategic planning cadence helps to ensure proper alignment across the organization for the year:
- Q3: Validate market research and corporate strategy
- Q4: Refine the product, marketing, sales and talent strategies
- Q1: Launch of strategies
- Q2: Strategy refresh
To support the quarterly objectives above, establish multiple tactics of communication in your organization, such as:
- Weekly one-on-one alignment calls with functional leaders.
- Monthly review of KPIs for a status on your objectives. To determine which metrics you should care about, visit this article.
- Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to determine what, if any, changes need to be made to the functional strategies. Read up on best practices for QBRs here.
Guarantee a Fast Start
As a new sales leader, while your first 90 days are critical, it is also essential to define a plan for long-term success. The best way to accomplish both begins with your sales strategy. The only way to guarantee your fast start is to ensure that the plan is not only aligned with your organization’s goals but also the external marketplace.
SBI’s Winning Sales Strategy Checklist is not just for new sales leaders. Download the tool to measure your company against these best practices and ensure your plan will be set up for success. If you need further guidance on building your sales strategy, voice your concerns to our Revenue Growth Help Desk, and an expert will get back to you in 24 hours.