Is Your Team Effectively Implementing Your Sales Strategy?

Is Your Team Effectively Implementing Your Sales Strategy?
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Implementing Your Sales Strategy Matters
Our organizational alignment research found that implementing your sales strategy accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low growth companies.  If your sales strategy is not being consistently implemented across your organization, this article is for you.

The Sales Leadership Strategy Scenario
The sales strategy session or sales kickoff is over and now your sales team must go make it happen.  Hopefully you have invested the time and effort to distill your sales strategy into a clear plan that includes the six sales strategy components that matter most:

  • Sales Alignment
    Your direct link to the overall business strategy and marketplace
  • Target Client
    Your ideal target market where you should win the majority of the time
  • Unique Value Proposition
    How you clearly differentiate yourself from the competition in the eyes of your target clients
  • Optimizing Sales Strategies
    Your top 2-4 big bets and strategic priorities over the next twelve months
  • Sales Success Metrics
    How sales success and failure will be measured at the individual, team, and organizational levels
  • Sales Roles and Responsibilities
    Who is responsible for what and how will the most important sales-related interdependencies be handled

Monitoring If Your Sales Strategy is Working
Congratulations. A great and necessary start. For a it to make a true difference, however, strategy must be properly executed.

All too often a sales team seems eager after kickoff, but two quarters later, you see little change in the way they are behaving and no clear signs that you will hit your agreed upon sales targets. Now the question becomes – is your sales strategy working?

Three Ways to Test If Your Sales Strategy Is On Track
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 an influential 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 of the Sales Strategy
    Does your sales team really get it? Is your sales strategy clear enough — both its rationale and the plan for implementation? Ask your people to explain the sales strategy in their own words, how they interpret the plan for success, and why they think it makes sense for them and their clients.

    You will soon learn if there is misalignment or confusion in the ranks and, if so, be able to create a plan to clear it up.  Keep the conversations going until your sales team understands the strategy, believes in it, and feels that your sales strategy can work in your unique culture and marketplace.

  2. Sales Actions
    Is your sales team’s understanding only intellectual or have they found ways to translate the sales plan into effective sales actions? 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 sales processes you want them to follow and make sure they have the necessary business sales skills and resources to carry out each step. Identify any barriers to sales success and create sales action plans to remove them as quickly as possible.

  3. Ongoing Sales 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 sales behavior continues and brings the desired sales results in terms of revenue, margins, win-rates, deal size, sales cycles, etc.

    Monitor the key activities of the entire sales and marketing team. Check in with them for any ideas on ways to improve the process. Stay tuned so you can adjust as needed.

The Bottom Line
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 misalignment. Give your sales team clear direction, the ability to carry out the new sales plan, and ongoing support and cultural accountability to make it happen.

To learn more about implementing your sales strategy and creating a high performance sales team, download 15 Sales Warning Signs Your Sales Team is Headed in the Wrong Direction

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