Is Your Team Effectively Implementing Your Sales Strategy?

Picture of a team trying to implement a sales strategy

The strategy session is over and the number of flip charts you generated reflects all the timeand effort you and your team devoted to the exercise. You were even able to distill the sales strategy into a rather simple plan that included:

  • your direct link to the overall business strategy
  • your ideal target market segments and critical buyer attributes
  • how you clearly differentiate yourself from the competition in the eyes of your target clients
  • your top 3-5 strategies
  • How success will be measured
  • Who is responsible for what and when

Congratulations. A great and necessary start. For a strategy to make a true difference, however, it must be properly executed.

Your sales team seemed eager to implement the new plan. But, two quarters later,you see little change in the way they are behaving and no clear signs that you will hit your expanded revenue targets. Now the question becomes… is your sales strategy working?

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to find out is to select a few of your sales folks, perhaps a couple of your sales stars, two of your lower performers, two turning in an average performance and a sales manager. Then follow these steps to test if your sales strategy is really doing what you hoped it would do.

  1. Understanding and Acceptance
    Do they really get it? Is your strategy clear enough…both its rationale and the plan for implementation? Ask your people to tell you in their own words how they interpret the plan and why they think it’s important. You will soon learn if there is confusion in the ranks and, if so, be able to clear it up.Keep the conversations going until they understand it, believe in it and feel that it can work in your unique culture.
  2. Actions
    Is their understanding only intellectual or have they found ways to translate the plan into action? Ask the test group how they are behaving differently and for specific instances of when their activities have worked or not worked. You need to determine if they not only know what to do to implement the new strategy but also if they know how to do it. Map out the processes you want them to follow and make sure they have the necessary skills and resources to carry out each step. Identify any barriers to success and create action plans to remove them as quickly as possible.
  3. Ongoing Execution
    Once you know that your test group understands, accepts, and knows what and how to act, you need to make sure that the desired behavior continues and that it brings the desired business results in terms of revenue, margins, win-rates, deal size, sales cycles, etc. Monitor the key activities of the entire team. Check in with them for any ideas on ways to improve the process. Stay tuned so you can adjust as needed.

It takes unrelenting clarity, focus and sales leadership to not join the almost 9 out of 10 companies that don’t move their strategic plans from the Board Room to the field. Don’t leave your sales force in a state of confusion or undisciplined activity. Give them clear direction, the ability to carry out the new plan and ongoing support and accountability to the actions required.

For more information on strategic execution, please download: http://www.lsaglobal.com/whitepaper-download/whitepaper-download-solving-the-mystery-of-successful-strategy-execution-what-to-do-once-your-strategy-retreat-is-over/

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