Sales_Leaders_Try_Something_Dangerous

 

 

 

Substitute “sales leader” for “entrepreneur” in the quote shown.  You’ve just described many sales leaders, especially in smaller companies.  They’re stuck in the status quo: on the razor’s edge of making or missing the number.  Same as last year.  And probably next year.  Feeling the fear that comes with indecisiveness.  Should they change things up?  Will reorganizing lead to a huge miss?  Fear of a mistake causes inaction.  So there you sit. 

 

What if you did something dangerous?  It depends how “dangerous” is defined.  I don’t mean making a decision based on gut feel alone.  That’s foolish. 

 

A “dangerous” decision is a decision based on an honest, objective evaluation.  Because then you might actually have to change instead of just talking about it. 

 

Download the SBI Annual Research Report and be dangerous.  Start by assessing your strategy, before you simply reorganize.  Learn how to think through strategy in a way that might mean real change.  Assess your market all the way down to the individual buyer level.  If you want an expert to walk through this with you, go here

 

There are three reasons you should do something “dangerous:” 

 

  • Impact on Job Security

The average tenure of a sales leader continues to hover around 18 months.  This is according to Forrester, CEB, LinkedIn, Accenture, and Selling Power magazine. However SBI found that leaders with the right sales strategy enjoy job security for 5+ years.

  • Impact on Compensation

The second reason you should care is the impact on compensation.  Sales teams with the right sales strategy exceed the plan by 20+% on average.  Whereas many sales teams with the wrong sales strategy miss the number.  This has implications on your compensation.  Recently, we saw a $150,000 difference in comp for 2 sales VPs.  The reason?  One had what we considered the right strategy, and beat his number.  The other missed.  His strategy was incorrect.  It was a collection of disjointed tactics masquerading as strategy. 

  • Impact on Equity

The third reason you should care is the impact on equity.  We found companies with the right strategy grew shareholder value 28% per year between 2012 and 2014.  Companies with the wrong sales strategy only grew shareholder value by 19%.  The difference in growth rates for a hypothetical sales leader with $1M in equity?  Over this time period it’s 45%, or $209K in equity value created. 

 

The Linkage Between Market Strategy and Reorganization

Remember when I said acting on gut feel alone was foolish?  Unfortunately, that’s how most sales leaders reorganize their teams.  They don’t start with strategy.  They want to “shake things up,” or “improve efficiency.”  So they grab recent quota attainment reports and circle the lower 25% of the team.  Then they rationalize that the remaining reps can sell more product lines.  And it’s off to the races.  The organization winds up leaner, but the remaining reps’ individual numbers don’t go up.  What happened? 

 

Market Strategy is using segmentation to understand your market, accounts, and buyers.  Download the Annual Research Report to learn more.  To be “dangerous,” (i.e., gain real insight that might drive reorganization), you must differentiate.  Your sales strategy must be different from your competition.  You must know which accounts to prioritize. You must be able to align your sales strategy with buyer needs.  Once you’ve aligned your strategy with the marketplace, you are able to determine reorganization.  Doing things in the right order can make all the difference.

 

*Image courtesy of Hubspot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Synek

Leads SBI client engagements, primarily in the Enterprise space, and is typically engaged at the senior sales and CXO levels.
Learn more about Mark Synek >

Few people in the sales and marketing world besides Mark can claim they are former opera singers. And now SBI clients everywhere are singing his praises. Perhaps that’s because Mark has taken his extremely diverse background, which includes post-graduate work at The Juilliard School and living abroad for several years, and distilled it down to an enormous passion for helping sales and marketing leaders make their number.

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