Are you one of the 31 percent of CEOs who aren’t completely satisfied with your sales team’s performance? Today, CEOs are consistently underwhelmed with their firm’s sales throughput when measured against their expectations. Yet despite their high degree of business acumen, passion for their product, and past successes, they lack the resources to understand and resolve the problem.
But trying to tinker with your sales trajectory without a defined and bespoke plan can be both costly and off target. In our experience, we’ve seen many CEOs, in a bid to reverse a sales slide, exhibit a knee-jerk reaction. They start randomly hiring people, investing in technology, changing pricing strategy, and pulling any number of random sales levers at a tactical level in hopes of a quick fix.
But just like the latest fad diet rarely leads to long-term health, these Band-aids fail to remediate the underlying sales malady.
In this blog series, we hope to help get you on the road to a cure with a more intentional and reasoned approach. We want to encourage you and your senior leadership to assess the revenue function at your company across four key areas -- People, Process, Platform and Performance. Within each of these four key areas lie a series of strategies and tactics that can be developed and implemented to build out a professional sales function.
It is imperative to extend beyond the surface in these four areas and cover a wide range of considerations.
People: When we think about the talent we need to meet our stated goals, we consider not only the size of team, but their individual skills sets, core strengths and areas of development, roles in the selling cycle, and overall cultural mix. When assessing your people, you need to look at the entire organizational hierarchy and whether we have the appropriate leadership structure, but also whether each resource has competency within their roles.
Process: There are unlimited proven sales processes and methodologies, but the very best are tailored to the specific organization that deploys it. At this stage, this is where you will assess the entire flow of leads -- from initial contact through to revenue recognition. Through this, we want to make sure we can document the handoffs, milestones, and specific expectations in creating a world-class sales operation.
Platform: There is more sales technology than ever before, but more often than not, these tools are highly under-utilized. At this stage, we want to analyze the tech stack you already have in place and take a look at the universe of those tools available in the market in support of the sales process. We want to make sure you have the right combination to create and execute education programs, utilization standards, and measurement and inspection strategies.
Performance – Perhaps the most comprehensive topic, this is where you dive deep into all the various sales related financial considerations -- from the top line revenue as well as margin impact of the sales function. We’ll cover the vast universe of sales metrics including things like forecasting, pricing, quotas, margins, expense management, headcount, and other impactful financial measurements.
By the time you work through these four areas, you should be prepared to answer the following:
Though this blog series will help get you on the road to sales success, you need not go it alone. We’ve developed The Chief Outsiders Readiness Assessment – a guided process designed to walk CEOs through a detailed understanding of the issues at hand and provide a framework to help set the business on the proper path forward.
In the assessment process, a Chief Outsiders CSO will lead you through a series of self-discovery sessions, incorporate ideas and strategies from their own experience, and help a CEO manage to and deliver on their financial commitments in a sustainable, repeatable manner.
By working with an experienced sales resource and taking a deep dive into these four areas, a CEO can quickly and methodically get to the root challenges holding back your performance. A well run, effective sales organization not only impacts the operating results of the business, but it can have a material influence on enterprise value through expanded multiples tied to valuation.
Whether you are ready to undertake the assessment or just want to learn more about the essentials of improving your sales function, we are glad you’re here. We know you’ll learn a lot through this blog series. Welcome aboard!
Email John Blessing to request a link to the sales readiness assessment.