How to Get Your Sales Strategy Back on Track Now

How to Get Your Sales Strategy Back on Track Now
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Getting Your Sales Strategy Back on Track Matters

If you want to get your sales strategy back on track, you should feel reassured that when it comes to sales performance, sales strategy matters.  Our organizational alignment research found that strategic sales clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams in terms of:

  • Revenue growth
  • Profitability
  • Customer retention
  • Sales leadership effectiveness
  • Sales team engagement

Does this Sales Strategy Scenario Sound Familiar?
Everyone seemed to be on board when you outlined the corporate sales strategy for the upcoming year at your strategy retreat. But now, as the end of the quarter is drawing closer, you notice that the sales team and those with whom they rely upon are not consistently following the sales plan.  You notice things like:

  • Marketing is not generating enough highly qualified leads
  • Sales reps are more focused on chasing short-term targets and padding their pipeline with unqualified sales leads than managing client accounts and territories strategically
  • Sales managers are not consistently coaching their teams or holding them accountable to agreed upon sales processes to shift from order takers to consultative sellers of more complex solutions
  • Sales reps are not consistently following the agreed upon sales process to be more customer centric
  • Customers are commoditizing your offerings and increasing pressure for cheaper prices
  • Teams are still working and being rewarded in silos rather than collectively helping to move deals forward together or taking advantage of cross-selling opportunities

Four Ways to Get Your Sales Team Pointed in the Right Direction
How can you as a sales leader redirect their efforts and get your sales strategy back on track?  Solution selling training experts recommend four ways to get your sales strategy back on track:

  1. Reset Strategic Priorities and Expectations
    There are usually good reasons that sales strategies falter.  When sales strategies are not being consistently executed across an organization, smart sales leaders step back and take stock.  For sales strategies to take hold, those responsible for executing it (e.g., sales, marketing, service, legal, product development, finance, etc.) must be actively involved in the strategy design process and fully aligned with the path forward.  Any gaps in understanding or commitment will derail the best laid sales plans.

    If your sales strategy is failing to gain traction, go slow to go fast.  Invest the time to create strategic sales clarity with all of your key stakeholders in a way that that inspires and aligns the organization in the following areas before moving forward:

    — Market Realities: what strategy, culture, and talent assumptions shape your sales strategy?
    Ideal Target Clients:  where should you win the majority of the time?
    Unique Value Proposition: what differentiates you from the competition?
    — Success Metrics: how will individual and team sales success and failure be measured?
    — Sales Processes: what critical few sales processes matter most?
    — Sales Barriers: what barriers must be overcome to be set up for success?
    — Action Plan: who is responsible for what in the next 90 days to move the sales strategy forward?

    Do you need to reset your sales strategy with your key stakeholders to get unstuck?

  2. Model, Measure, and Reward the Right Sales Behaviors and Activities
    To move strategies forward, leaders must define a set of the vital few metrics that will measure progress. Without the alignment of metrics and rewards for the right results and behaviors, meaningful change will not endure. Determine which critical few sales behaviors and activities align with and lead to executing your sales strategy successfully.

    Then ensure that (1) Sales leaders and high performers model them in words and actions, (2) Sales progress is transparently measured and evaluated on a consistent basis at the individual and team level, and (3) sales rewards encourage what you want and sales consequences discourage misaligned ways of thinking and working.

    Just make sure that any sales metrics are considered to be fair, accurate, relevant, possible, consistent, and timely by your entire sales team if you want to effectively motivate employees to perform at their peakAre your sales leaders creating enough intentionality by consistently modeling, measuring, and rewarding the right sales behaviors and activities?

  3. Invest in Building Sales Confidence and Competence
    First, identify and prioritize the “money making” skills required to execute your unique sales strategy in your unique marketplace. Second, assess your sales and leadership capabilities to see where they stand in terms of sales performance and potential.  Third, design and deliver customized and reinforced business sales training to close the gaps.

    Almost all sales organizations offer some level of sales training. Unfortunately, we know from over 800 sales training measurement projects that only 1-in-5 sales reps change their behavior from  most sales training efforts because it is not customized and reinforced enough.  Great sales training initiatives ensure that sales leaders:

    — own and drive the initiative
    — invest deeply in closing high priority sales skill gaps
    — customize sales training, reinforcement, and measurement to create customer impact.

    Are you fully equipping your sales leaders and their teams with the sales skills and confidence that they need to succeed in your unique situation?

  4. Coach, Manage, and Lead Frequently and Consistently
    Data from our research-backed sales management training tells us that effective sales leaders consistently and frequently coach, manage, and lead their teams to greater heights.  The best sales leaders coach both in formal one-on-one meetings and situationally on-the-spot so sales reps learn the most important behaviors that matter most for your unique sales strategy and culture.

    Recent McKinsey research found that top sales organizations commit 79% more time coaching their sales reps. Our own research found that reps who are consistently coached outperform their peers 4-to-1 in terms of sales quota attainment.  There is no doubt that effective sales performance coaching impacts sales performance.

    Are your sales leaders able consistently and effectively lead, manage, and coach their teams to higher performance?

The Bottom Line
If you want to get your sales strategy back on track, invest the time and effort to realign your key stakeholders around the sales strategies, skills, and leadership mechanisms required for success..

To learn more about getting your sales strategy back on track, download 7 Ways to Stress Test Your Sales Strategy

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