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.
The sales strategy session is over and the number of flip charts you generated reflects all the time and effort you and your sales team devoted to creating a smart growth plan. You were even able to distill the sales strategy into a rather simple plan that included the six sales strategy components that matter most:
Congratulations. A great and necessary start. For a it to make a true difference, however, strategy must be properly executed.
Monitoring If Your Sales Strategy is Working
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?
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 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 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 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 your sales team understands it, believes in it and feels that your sales strategy can work in your unique culture.
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 that it brings the desired sales 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.
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 undisciplined activity. Give your sales team clear direction, the ability to carry out the new sales plan and ongoing support and 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
4 Steps to Create Strategic Alignment
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