What is your plan to achieve your revenue goal? A plan starts with a solid strategy. But to achieve what you’ve planned, you must execute. CEO’s are under increased pressure from the board to deliver expectations. Every quarter, they will hold you accountable for execution that leads to results.
Our 2014 research shows that execution has four critical parts. Doing all of these things right will assure a successful sales strategy.
- Sales Enablement – Get timely, buyer-focused insights and content into the hands of the Sales team. Marketing and Sales collaborate to move a sales opportunity forward.
- Sales Adoption – Drive Sales adoption of Sales programs. (We’ll focus on this piece in this article). Adopt best practices by making them a part of your culture.
- Forecast / Pipeline Management – Analyze data to produce insights for Sales and executive leadership. Part of adoption is tracking realistic and reliable data to direct intelligent action.
- Reporting – Implement a set of reports that consistently satisfy the needs of executive leadership. This requires a CRM that is easy to use. One that produces useful dashboards and reports for making the best decisions.
Sales Field Adoption Sales adoption ensures that what you have designed won’t collect dust on a shelf. This requires a well-crafted program that Sales and Marketing will embrace. If it’s not embraced, precious budget and man-hours will go to waste. Then over time, the Sales team becomes immune to new ideas. Ultimately they will continue to embrace the status quo, even if dysfunctional and ineffective.
- It starts with you – As CEO, you must be the biggest champion of new ways of doing business. When you take an initiative seriously, your organization follows. Your sales leaders will make sure their sellers follow.
- All levels of management must embrace – The front-line Sales managers are where the rubber meets the road. They are the ones that will ultimately enforce change. Assure your Sales leaders have a plan to engage at that level.
- Less classroom and more mobile apps – Multi-day training sessions take your Sales force out of the field. Many reps are bored in the classroom, so knowledge retention can be low. Instead, shift the training programs to mobile applications. Literally put training in the hands of the Sales reps. Serve a steady cadence of bite-size tutorials and quizzes.
- Make it simple and easy – New ways of doing business should be integrated into your systems. Make your Sales Operations leadership use mobility and cloud-based solutions for ease of adoption.
10 Questions to Ask To assure Sales adoption, you need to answer the following questions:
- How do we drive adoption of each new initiative?
- How do we stay agile in our adoption and incorporate learnings from successes/failures?
- How do we communicate new initiatives to the sales team?
- How do we promote quick wins with new initiatives?
- How do we ensure compensation plan alignment with new initiatives?
- How do we get sales management to lead the adoption of new initiatives?
- How does the sales management and coaching cadence change?
- How do we get sales reps to change their behavior?
- How does the sales rep cadence change with a new initiative?
- How do we ensure the new initiative helps us win the big deals?
Next Steps Without execution, your well-crafted strategic plan will fail. To prevent this, you must execute and put the plan into action. Only then will you see results
As our 2014 Research Report discusses, a comprehensive sales strategy is the difference maker. As part of that strategy, execution is required to deliver real results. Download the full research report here to learn more.