If you are that rare CEO whose sales force is knocking it out of the park, congratulations. You can skip this article. But for everyone else for whom a sales-model revamp is overdue, this message is for you.
We see firsthand a lot of struggling sales and lead-generation models. A big part of what we do is helping company leaders define the extent of their challenges by giving them both the perspective and tools to measure themselves against their goals and their peers. When they see the gap, many realize it’s time for dramatic changes to their selling models.
That brings us to the lessons learned from overseeing numerous business transformations. Here’s what you need to know before you tackle the tough challenge of reinventing your sales model.
- Don’t hang on to old staff members you know were part of the problem. Don’t design new positions for them, but make them “available to your competition” so you don’t have to argue with them about why things must change.
- Build for speed and efficiency; the complexity can come later.
- Get the help you need. Don’t count on current staff to suddenly have the experience and knowledge you require. (The right people would have already met the challenges you now face.)
- Once you commit to transforming your sales model, go full speed ahead.
- Focus on ROI rather than cost. We’ve seen way too many companies that are “penny-wise and pound-foolish” when it comes to making needed investments.
- Identify your weak spots and over-resource those areas at the beginning.
- Include constituents from all critical functions when designing and implementing big changes. (Excluding key groups from developing the new model is inviting them to challenge and subvert the program once it launches.)
- Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. Transforming sales and lead generation in today’s Google-ized market is a complicated undertaking, but keeping your “change team” focused on the objective will help put the smaller roadblocks in perspective.
- Prepare to adjust course as needed. Even months after launching your new model, you will continue to tweak the program, add resources where needed and even shed elements you thought would be critical.
Transforming how you sell may be way overdue. Status-quo sales models will only continue to fall further behind. Is today the day to begin your sales transformation project?
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- Why We Resist Change
- Five Ways to Improve Your Sales Process
- Sharp Decision Making Leads to Future Success
Matt Smith is the co-founder and executive vice president of 3forward, a sales consulting company that helps companies find and create leads, increase wins and accelerate sales. He can be reached at email@example.com.