Category Archives: Sales Strategy
When Business Processes Change, Minimize the Impact on Sales
Businesses are complex and require constant attention to remain competitive, profitable, and productive. That quest often leads to change, which can be targeted to specific parts of an organization or be company-wide.
Any change will likely be disruptive, but that’s to be expected and hopefully minimized. The greater concern comes when companies introduce changes to one part of the business without fully exploring the impact on other areas, including sales.
5 Strategies for Keeping Pace with Changing Customer Buying Behaviors
Customer buying behaviors are changing. As a result, you must assess the ability of your sales team to adapt, serve, and exceed these evolving expectations.
Informed Consumers Are Empowered Buyers
Technology and consumers’ willingness to share information and opinions has dramatically influenced buyer behavior in recent years. However, the nature and pace continues to evolve. Consider the following examples:
Sales Management Process: The Black Hole of Sales Strategy Execution
Have you ever stopped to think about what you need your sales management to do to help you run your sales force? If you asked five sales managers to map out a day, week, month, and quarter in their lives, would you get a consistent response? The answer is probably a strong “no.”
Establishing a Sensible Sales Process: Low-hanging Sales Improvement Fruit
How often does your organization talk about wanting to increase sales? Surely during annual planning and budgeting exercises, but I’d also guess during quarterly, monthly, and even more frequent reviews of sales and performance figures. Some issues may have obvious fixes, but you’ve also likely pursued various strategies to move the needle across your sales organization.
5 Sales Strategy Execution Derailers and How to Avoid Them
Once you’ve set the sales strategy that’s going to improve your business and take it to the next level, you want to see it succeed. Not only do you not want it to fail, but you also don’t want anything to get in the way of its success or make getting there any more difficult or complicated than should be expected.
Solving “The Forgetting Curve” to Help You Execute Your Sales Strategy - Two powerful lessons in learning from the medical profession
Helping sales reps to recall and apply knowledge and skills would not only increase their effectiveness on the job, but also improve the ROI of your investment in training. To solve this issue, Richardson has partnered with Qstream to provide QuickCheck™.
Using a patent developed at Harvard Medical School, Qstream’s solution helps clients’ sales reps and other employees who go through training to retain what they’ve learned over a longer period of time through a series of weekly short quizzes that continue to jog the memories of the trainees and help them recall the necessary details when the time comes.
Lessons from the Gridiron: Do You Have the Right People to Execute Your New Sales Strategy?
After attending the recent Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, it was clear to me that there is no shortage of ideas and technologies for developing revolutionary sales strategies. Yet executing your sales strategy will be nearly impossible if there’s a big disconnect between the people you need to execute and the people you have today. Remember, you have to sustain performance today while you transform for tomorrow. You can only disrupt your organization so much in the process.
Companies are like people and snowflakes: they may look and act similarly, but each one is distinctly different from the other. Remember this comparison as your organization embarks on its next change.
You might think that I’m wrong because identical twins look, well, exactly the same. But what makes them unique is their thought processes and behaviors. In this sense, companies can look like twins yet are still very different. You could have multiple companies operating in the same industry doing the same things, yet achieving dramatically different results. This would be true from fast food (McDonald’s and Burger King) to home improvement (Home Depot and Lowe’s) to technology (Microsoft and Apple) and any other sector.
Change may be a constant in business, but adoption of change within sales organizations can be a slow and often failed initiative if not approached properly. The key is to be aware of and address change on two levels: the organizational level and the individual level. This dual-level execution is essential for success and must be orchestrated systematically so the salesforce never misses a beat in delivering today’s results while also focusing on the future.
I recently read two alarming statistics that should be a wake-up call for sales leaders — and for the Learning and Development professionals they rely on to keep their sales teams well tuned and well trained.
The first comes from a McKinsey Quarterly article titled “Getting More from Your Training Programs”:
Just 25% of survey respondents said that their training programs measurably improved business performance.
Twenty-five percent? That means that 75% of the senior managers McKinsey surveyed believe that their training programs fail to contribute to the success of the business. That’s an unacceptable ROI by any measure, especially considering the money spent, time away from the job, and missed opportunities.
The second statistic comes from a study by the Executive Board’s Corporate Leadership Council:
More than half of line managers believe that shutting down the L&D function would have no impact on employee performance.
More than 50% see no value at all in L&D? This is serious and damning news, and not only for those in L&D whose budgets and jobs are at stake. It’s a big problem for sales leaders who are looking for ways to improve the performance of their sales teams … to increase sales effectiveness … and to drive business results.
What’s up with that?
Most L&D departments have never worked harder or had more learning tools and technologies available. So, where is the disconnect between capability and impact? I see two root causes.
1) Poor » Continue Reading.
In most organizations, reviewing every won or lost opportunity is impossible. While there is so much information about each sales opportunity in your funnel readily available, there is a point of diminishing returns. As the process owner or executive sponsor, you need to determine what’s most important and how much is “too much.”
The only certainty in life is change, and this is especially true in sales. Sales organizations are in a constant state of flux. By many estimates, the average tenure of a sales leader is somewhere between 19 and 24 months (which is comparable to CEO tenure). This churn at the top brings with it new ideas and hopes and the need to do things differently to hit your numbers. Every year brings new quotas and comp plans, new goals and expectations, reassignment of accounts, new products and solutions, new technologies, new competitors, and any number of changes and complications. You sometimes wonder how an organization continues to function.
Fewer than 10% of organizations properly translate sales strategy into action, and many make no attempt at all to do this. Some people refer to this as the ability to close the “knowing-doing gap.” I know what I’m supposed to do, but I don’t know how or lack the discipline to change.